Hunterdon County Communications Celebrates Milestone Anniversary
First County Wide Communications Center In New Jersey Celebrates 40th Anniversary
February 1st , 2017 will mark the 40 year anniversary whereby the Hunterdon County Division of Communications (Communications) began answering 9-1-1 emergency phone calls and dispatching emergency services to the homes and businesses in Hunterdon. The Communications Center first went live on June 23, 1976.
On February 1, 1977 and operating out of a 4-room farmhouse, Communications became the first county-wide agency responding to 9-1-1 calls in the State of New Jersey. They were the only agency handling all emergency calls through a single centralized communications center.
“Public safety is at the center of our responsibilities as elected officials. The Communications center has successfully adapted to the needs of our communities as we’ve grown and to the ever-changing technology needed to best serve our residents and businesses,” said Freeholder Director John Lanza.
Today, Communications, is a Division under the Hunterdon County Department of Public Safety and continues to provide emergency dispatching for all the municipal police, fire, and EMS agencies in the County from a 7,500 sq ft facility, utilizing the newest technologies including mobile texting.
Additionally, Communications transacts with regional State Police sites, the Prosecutor’s Office, the Sheriff’s Department, County Courts, the Parks and Recreation Rangers, the Medical Examiner’s Office, Hunterdon Medical Center paramedic units, and the County Health Department. Staffed 24 hours per day/7 days a week, Communications processed 37,844 (9-1-1) calls, and dispatched over 186,000 calls for service in 2016, alone.
“To fully understand the enormity of the task that Dispatchers have and the professionalism they bring to the job, you must hear the very real examples of the tension and panic that often accompanies a 9-1-1 call and the cool, reassuring voice of our Dispatcher as they coordinate the required response,” said Deputy Freeholder and Liaison to Public Safety John King. “County wide Communications has been a clear success