Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP)
The Great Barrington Police Department is the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for the Town. Every dispatcher has been trained in the use of the 9-1-1 System by the State 911 Department.
Officers assigned to dispatch answer radio calls and assist with citizens who come into the station. We also dispatch our local DPW and the Great Barrington Fire Department. We provide dispatch services to the Southern Berkshire Volunteer Ambulance Squad. Dispatchers are required by law to monitor the cell block by sight and sound and to physically check prisoners every 30 minutes.
The system provides dispatchers with basic information about the call. If the call is placed from a land-line the dispatcher will see the following information on a terminal: the address of the caller, the name of the person or company on the phone bill, the phone number of the caller, a disability indicator if there is one (see below), and a map with the location of the call showing.
If the call is made from a cellular phone, the call will be first routed to one of four special Massachusetts State Police call centers who in term will direct the call to Great Barrington. Along with the caller’s telephone number, a map showing the location of the cellular phone to within about 50 meters.
The 911 equipment is provided by a fee charged to all telephone users in Massachusetts. The State selected Verizon to install and maintain the equipment. The status of 911 the equipment is monitored by a special Verizon center located in Massachusetts.
If your telephone service is provided through a vendor using Voice over IP-VOIP-such as Vonage, you need to contact them and make sure your address is correct.
During 2014, the Communications Center answered 2,343 calls made to 911.
In Massachusetts, 2-1-1 is the direct link between people who need help and people who can give help. 2-1-1 connects the caller with a friendly, helpful information and Referral Specialist who can put them on the right track with their very first call. 2-1-1 connects you with local services- from food, clothing, and shelter assistance to counseling, legal and financial services. 2-1-1 is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Multilingual and TTY service is also available. 2-1-1 has developed the state’s most comprehensive database of human service resources available.
The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency has designated Mass 2-1-1 as the Commonwealth’s primary telephone call center during times of emergency. Citizens can access vital, up-to-date disaster information, numerous post –disaster programs, interpreter services, and call tracking of caller locations, greatly reducing non-emergency calls to 9-1-1. Learn more at www.mass211.org.
Emergency Notification System – CodeRED
The Town’s Emergency Notification System, called CodeRED, is a way for the Town of Great Barrington to make announcements to townspeople by way of telephone. There are several types of messages that may be sent to you. Street closures, water issues, meetings and other general informational topics may utilize the system. In an emergency, the system is set up to call all of the numbers you have listed with the Town, along with any email addresses you have registered in the system. For more information and to sign up for alerts, visit the town’s website home page at www.townofgb.org.
911 Disability Indicator Program
If a person residing in your home has a disability, you should be aware of the 911 Disability Indicator Program. Participation in this program is voluntary and free. Once registered, if a call is placed from your home, a code will automatically display to alert the Communications Center police or fire that a person in your home communicates by TTY and/or has a disability that may require assistance. The following are qualifying disabilities:
- Life Support System
- Mobility Impaired (i.e. bedridden or wheelchair)
- Use of Teletypewriter (TTY) to communicate
- Deaf or Hard of Hearing
- Speech Impaired
- Cognitive Disability (i.e. Alzheimer’s Disease)
To obtain a registration form SEE FORMS. This feature applies to LAND-LINE telephones only.