Western Illinois University is working to upgrade emergency services and educate students about 9-1-1 operations in central Illinois counties.
The school’s Geographic Information Systems is providing a mapping project which gives young people hands-on experience regarding emergency dispatch operations.
A newly-formed West Central Emergency Telephone Systems Board (ETSB) will cover 9-1-1 operations in Morgan, Greene and Calhoun Counties.
In a press release, Western Illinois University announced that the new dispatch base will be in Jacksonville and will provide services for all three counties.
A handful of Illinois counties are currently without 9-1-1 services, including Greene and Calhoun.
The new partnership comes as a result of decreasing landlines and increasing cellular use, in turn reducing service fees previously used to fund 9-1-1 services.
WIU GIS hopes to complete their work over the next few months and be fully operational by the summer of 2017.