VPI Helps Martinsville Henry County 911 Center Best Meet Community Needs

Customer: Martinsville -- Henry County 911 Center

Industry: Public Safety (Gov. Agency)

State: VA


Learn more about how VPI call and radio racording technology helps the Martinsville - Henry County 911 Center overcome the challenges encountered with their obsolete 4 mm DAT recorder.

Business Profile

The Martinsville - Henry County 911 Communications Center dispatches police, fire and rescue for all of Henry County and the City of Martinsville. Within the two jurisdictions there are three law enforcement agencies as well as five rescue squads and nine fire departments. The Center was established to provide for receipt and dispatch of Calls-for-Service for law enforcement, emergency medical services, and the fire service for both the City of Martinsville and the County of Henry. While in the early stages of development, the planners determined that it would be economically feasible to combine all emergency communications services into one complex, making it possible to provide modern equipment in an up to date controlled access facility.


Today’s dispatch centers focus on a multitude of performance measurements, the most important being efficiency. Whenever an agent takes a call, there are a hundred things that should proceed after asking the important question, “9-1-1. Where is your emergency?” All of these things should be handled with the skill and professionalism necessary to ensure that the incident is taken care of in a prompt and efficient manner. For the staff at the Martinsville – Henry County 911 Center, acquiring that high level of efficiency is no longer a hard to achieve goal. From the initial stages of the dispatcher picking up the telephone to respond to a call, all the way to the follow-up stage of sending a recorded transaction to the county district attorney to use to prosecute an offender, efficiency is priority one. The center is responsible for two police agencies and their respective fire and rescue agencies (Henry County Sheriff's Office & Martinsville City Police Dept.) all four of which regularly request copies of 911 calls pertaining to particular calls their dispatchers and officers handled. They also receive subpoena's from courts requesting 911 recordings for live playback in the courtroom. Efficient operations weren’t always easy for the Martinsville – Henry County 911 Center. The Center realized that when it came to search and retrieval of its telephone and radio transaction records, their older system held them back in terms of speed, making the center’s operations appear unreliable and slow. They found a direct link between their problems and type of equipment that they were using to record, store and replay their calls.


The Martinsville – Henry County 911 Center has found that their call records play an increasingly valuable role in their dispatch center operations by serving as a training tool. By using its current recordings from the VPI Recorder for quality monitoring, they can use them as ways to show the dispatcher examples of the right way and the wrong way to handle a situation. Powell explains, “from time to time we have the need to review an employees performance and the recorder makes it quick and simple to listen to calls from that particular employee.” Furthermore, “The recorder has helped us as a public safety provider many times in defending ourselves against complaints from the public. Sometimes if the dispatcher does not handle a situation exactly as a citizen thinks they should have, they will call to complain on how the phone call was handled or even the amount of time it took for a response.” These calls must be reviewed for liability and accuracy in order to provide the highest response performance. The VPI system easily interfaces with their Netclock, enabling Powell search for the call by date and precise time. Powell has said that the addition of the VPI system has benefited the Center in a multitude of ways, most importantly, “This system takes very little of our personnel time. We no longer have to spend hours looking for a call to send out. Because of this, our team is able to effectively cooperate with district prosecutors and other related agencies for the best final results in serving the community’s need for safety. VPI has provided us with the technology that will help us maintain a high degree of efficiency.”