In 1968, 9-1-1 became the national emergency telephone number for the United States. Calling this number provides the caller in need with almost immediate access to police, fire, ambulance and other public safety services. 9-1-1 has become commonly known as the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). The number itself did not become widely known until the 1970’s and many U.S. communities did not have 9-1-1 service until well into the 1980’s.
On July 1, 1987, the Bedford County Communications Center became the first 9-1-1 Dispatch Center of Bedford County, Tennessee. The initial onset of our center required two (2) separate boards of directors. One of those boards dealt with the county’s appropriated portion of the budget and consisted of seven (7) Directors. The second board was a nine (9) member Board of Directors who managed the portion of budgeted operational funds collected from State 9-1-1 regulatory fees. This second board consisted of all Public Safety Department Heads in the City of Shelbyville and Bedford County in ex-officio along with two citizen members.
In January 2004 the Bedford County Board of Commissioners consolidated the responsibilities of the two boards, created and signed an inter-local operating agreement with Bedford County Emergency Communications District (BCECD) and appointed nine (9) interested citizens each representing the nine county voting districts.
E911 (Enhanced 9-1-1) was pioneered in the mid-1970’s by the Chicago Police Department. The difference in E911 is that it provides the PSAP with access to the source location and personal identifiers of the emergency caller. Now each phone number has an attached code of other numbers (ESN, ALI, ANI) which are decoded by our specialized call handling equipment allowing us to know where you are when you call.
In the coming months, Bedford County Communications Center will see a significant upgrade to our existing systems as we move into the future standard of emergency 9-1-1 operations with “Next Generation 9-1-1” capabilities. Next Generation 9-1-1 is our country’s technological response to the growing use of cellular, SMS, email, voice-over-IP systems (Vonage – Magic Jack) and texting. Once operational, this vital link to life-safety will allow our center to receive critical and instant messages, videos, texts, emails and other contemporary forms of communications never before possible.
You’ve never been more protected than you are today and our Board and our technically trained staff are committed to providing you with the best possible assistance and the most advanced services possible.
Meetings: Third Wednesday of Every month, 4:30 PM, 200 Dover Street Suite 110 in the Bedford County Business Complex. The Board will at all times adhere to the Tennessee Open Meetings Act, as set forth in T.C.A. Sections 8-44-101, and following, except when authorized to meet with legal counsel or otherwise permitted by law.
Members: The members of the Board are recommended by the County Mayor and confirmed by the Bedford County Board of Commissioners. There are 11 members, 9 of whom represent 9 different districts of the county and two members who are At-Large members.
The E911 District is governed by the constitutions and the laws of the United States and Tennessee, specifically including the Emergency Communications District Law as set forth in Tennessee Code Annotated (T.C. A.), Title 7, Chapter 86, and Sections 101.
The current makeup of the Board is as follows:
Curt Cobb - Chairman
Chris White – Vice Chairman
Scott Johnson - Secretary