New 911 Center opens

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For the first time in Rockford history... 911 calls made outside Rockford in Winnebago county will go to a separate 911 center. It started operating at 6am morning simultaneously with Rockford's new 911 center.

"All law enforcement agencies outside Rockford are being dispatched from this facility. Rockford's 911 center dispatches for Rockford police, park police and fire, and some rural fire departments," said Lt. Brad Fitz.

Even though Winnebago County and Rockford have separate 911 centers they can easily rely on each other for support during emergencies.

“Each location acts as a backup for the other location as well so if anything were to happen here we could immediately and seamlessly transfer up north, and if anything were to happen at the Winnebago county site they could transfer down here as well," said fire chief Bill Robertson.

Administrators say some glitches in equipment and late shipments from overseas delayed the opening of the 911 centers about two months.
"There were a few phone line issues that had to get resolved. We had problems with radio transmissions."

New technology could make all the difference in life or death situations. Both Rockford and Winnebago County's 911 centers can now track cell phone calls to within about 100 feet of where the call was made.