Beginning in the fall, all 911 calls made by cell or land line in the city of Brookhaven will be answered by a ChatComm emergency operator instead of a DeKalb County dispatcher.
For every emergency call, ChatComm emergency operators will determine the nature and location of the caller’s emergency. The operator will dispatch Brookhaven Police or, since DeKalb County still provides fire and emergency medical services to the city, the operator will immediately forward the call to DeKalb County Fire/ EMS dispatch using a one-button transfer system.
Brookhaven police will also be dispatched on DeKalb County Fire and/or EMS calls automatically, depending on the nature of the emergency.
At a council work session meeting Feb. 24, Brookhaven Mayor J. Max Davis, city council and city staff discussed all aspects of the service switch. ChatComm President Joe Estey and former Dunwoody council member Danny Ross attended to provide additional insights and answer questions.
The agreement was presented to council at the March 11 meeting, but was deferred to allow additional time for contract negotiations before it was finally approved.
“Brookhaven’s partnership with ChatComm will allow the city to provide better and faster emergency response services to our residents.” Davis said.
Per the agreement, at least 90 percent of all 911 calls will be answered by ChatComm within 10 seconds and processed for dispatch within 60 seconds. ChatComm dispatchers will also remain on the line when connecting callers to DeKalb County Fire and EMS dispatch, providing reassurance that emergency needs are being handled and dictating emergency pre-arrival instructions specific to the emergency.
ChatComm expects that about 90 percent of all Brookhaven emergency calls will be for police services, placing a spotlight on the Brookhaven Police Department’s goal for three minute response times from the moment a dispatch call is received.
“This is where we will see the biggest impact of the switch to ChatComm,” Brookhaven Police Chief Gary Yandura said. “Their promised deliverable of a quick dispatch will help Brookhaven officers consistently respond to incidents as fast as possible, with respect to both officer and resident safety.”
Housed in Sandy Springs, ChatComm is comprised of the cities of Sandy Springs and Johns Creek. The city of Dunwoody is a subscriber.