Fire department might not hear a human voice

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BOONE COUNTY - Fire and EMS personnel may not hear a human voice over their radios, but instead an automated voice when they receive calls beginning Tuesday afternoon. 

Boone County Joint Communications is implementing an automated voice system to dispatch fire and EMS calls. The system would tell responders what the emergency is and where to go. 

Josh Creamer, Boone County Fire Protection District assistant chief, said the new system will dispatch and alert fire and EMS units earlier in the process. 

"We can start responding to that emergency quicker and get better information for when we're in route," Creamer said. 

The new system allows for call takers to dispatch units to a location, while still staying on the phone with the person calling in the emergency. 

Boone County Joint Communications is using a company called Locution Systems, located in Golden, Colorado. The company created the automated voice system. 

Courtney DeWinter, a spokesperson for Lecution Systems, said an automated dispatching system will help emergency personnel understand the emergency.

"When dispatchers get more tired, they're not as crisp in vocalizing the dispatches and then you get that 'please repeat' request," DeWinter said. 

Creamer said, “Having a standardized dispatching system that repeats itself the same way every single time makes it easier for responders to recognize the information.”

After the automated voice dispatches the emergency units, a human dispatcher will give the units further information on what the emergency is. Creamer said this system will help in high call volume situations such as a game days, tornadoes or winter storms.