The world is now so full of amazing technologies and connected services it is almost impossible to imagine how it all works. When your phone seems to know that you’re going home before you do, and your car can park itself, what else is there for us to do but go along?
Yet sometimes life turns itself inside out. Real life emergencies can come about in an instance. That’s when we need the services we depend upon to be simple-to-use, reliable and accessible.
In America, we’re trained from an early age to call 9-1-1 in emergencies. That education works: there are an estimated 240 million calls made to 9-1-1 each year. Across the country there are systems are set up to connect dispatchers to emergency services providers such as police, ambulance and emergency responders. The communities of Geneva, Batavia, St. Charles, South Elgin, Elburn, North Aurora, Sugar Grove and the Waubonsee Community College campus are all served by Tri-Com, an organization (1) dedicated to handling and dispatching calls to emergency services.
In good hands
Tri-Com handles approximately 130,000 calls and 98,000 dispatches each year. That’s an average of 365 calls per day, and 268 dispatches in the five communities it serves. Just as important as fielding those calls is the manner in which services can be coordinated between police, fire and medical teams.
As such, Tri-Com leverages technologies and systems designed specifically for regions where towns share borders. Tri-Com is a member of an organization called the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System. The Tri-Com website states, “There are currently 48 divisions throughout Illinois and 4 divisions in Wisconsin. MABAS allows Tri-Com to communicate with and receive assistance from many non-Tri-Com fire agencies during major incidents.”
Heading up this organization requires deep experience and insight into how emergency systems are managed. Recently Tri-Com promoted Nicole Lamela to Director of Tri-Com Central Dispatch. She has spent 22 years of her career at Tri-Com in numerous positions of increasing responsibility. These include telecommunicator, supervisor, CAD administrator, deputy director and interim director.
As population has grown in the Fox Valley area served by Tri-Com, the volume of calls to 9-1-1 has continued to increase. But some of the effectiveness of Tri-Com depends upon everyday citizens to know how and when to make a beneficial 9-1-1 call.
It starts with learning how to be a good witness. The Tri-Com website shares insights on how and what to observe when making a 9-1-1 call whether the situation is about someone you know or a complete stranger. Their Be A Good Witness page is therefore a good primer for anyone to know.
Tri-Com was formed in 1976 and has ably served the Tri-Cities for more than 40 years and likely more than 40M calls to 9-1-1. We might take such technology and convenience for granted. But we shouldn’t. The number of lives saved may be countless, and when you’re the person who needs 9-1-1 assistance it is good to know there are Tri-Com professionals ready to help.
(1) Tri-Com is a cooperative arrangement voluntarily established* by its Original Members (Cities of St Charles, Geneva and Batavia) pursuant to an Intergovernmental Agreement (“IGA”) authorized by Article VII, Section 1, of the Constitution of the State of Illinois, 1970, the Intergovernmental Cooperation Act, 5 ILCS 220/2 (1) 5 ILCS 220/2 (1) et seq. of the Illinois Compiled Statutes for the purpose of providing communication services for police, fire, ambulance and other emergency communication systems for the mutual benefit of the members of the venture; to provide such services on a contract basis to other public agencies; and to provide a forum for discussion, study, development and implementation of recommendations of mutual interests regarding communications, information systems, statistical matters and criminal justice, fire safety, emergency medical and telephone emergency request systems, public safety information communication and data processing within portions of Kane, DuPage and Kendall Counties, Illinois.