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Lee County approves purchase of new back-up emergency call system

Calling 911 from smartphone
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Lee County will spend just over $273,000 to purchase an emergency call system that could be quickly set up and operational if regular 911 call centers are taken out of commission by a natural or man-made disaster.

Lee County Commissioners unanimously approved the purchase Tuesday morning. Through the Next Generation 911 (NG911) system, the county is buying 24 CommandPOST Disaster Laptop packages, each of which includes a computer, phone hardware and other necessary equipment.

They will allow for the rapid set-up of stand-up 911 workstations in fewer than 15 minutes, provided there is an available internet connection. Lee County Communications Director Betsy Clayton notes that previous 911 system backup technologies could take two or three hours to become operational, even with pre-planning.

The new NG911 system will also have text-to-911 and advanced location accuracy abilities as well.

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Forty-one-year veteran of television news in markets around the country, including more than 18 years as an anchor and reporter at WINK-TV in southwest Florida.