GREENE COUNTY, Mo. – New upgrades are being planned for people who need to reach emergency responders in Greene County.

With technology evolving, the 911 call center is putting extra focus on more than just receiving phone calls from people in need of help.

“The technology right now was based out of 1950’s era,” said J.R. Webb, Springfield-Greene County 911 Assistant Director. “We’ll actually move those calls to a computer-based and IP network.”

Soon, people will be able to send videos and pictures of what’s going on at the time of an emergency.

Webb said this will allow people to document key information and send it in.

“If someone sends you a picture of a suspect, or a picture of a suspect’s vehicle, what better piece of evidence could there be in proving a crime,” said Webb.

The new project in the works, Webb said, is called Next Generation 911.

The upgrades will work alongside the current ability to text 911 that has been in place for years.

He said equipment upgrades are also creating backup systems with Jasper County to make sure 911 service is never interrupted.

“A severe weather event or something catastrophic takes out this building,” said Webb. “Right now, if we should have a failure in our backroom of our backroom equipment, our workstations could be automatically serviced by those at Jasper County 911.”

This complete upgrade project should be completed in about 12 to 18 months.