How Live 911 is saving lives in Weber County

Feb 6, 2023, 6:25 PM | Updated: 8:18 pm

WEBER COUNTY, Utah — The Weber County Sheriff’s Office says it’s shortening response times by letting deputies hear 911 calls as they come in.

The Department says it’s the first agency in Utah to start using the new program.

Typically, you have operators who talk to the people who need help. A dispatcher then takes that information and sends someone out.

With so many officers listening simultaneously, they can decide to head over immediately.

Chances are, by the time you make the call, you’ve already decided you need help.

“Every second, whether it’s two seconds or 20 seconds counts,” Corporal Jose Leon said.

He’s been listening to the calls for about two weeks now, and he said the stress in a caller’s voice can be enough for him to make the decision to respond.

“I could just hear the mother screaming saying, ‘My son’s gone crazy. He’s going to kill everybody in the house,’” Leon said.

In that case, he was able to look at his computer screen and rush to the caller’s address.

“That’s critical. Time in our industry is king,” Kevin Rose executive director of Weber Area Dispatch said. “We always say that time is heart muscle. Time is brain cells. Time is the difference between locating an offender and not.”

It’s called Live 911. Between dispatchers and deputies, responders in Weber County say it’s already making a difference.

“I went to an accident with injuries and I literally saw a lady take her last breath as I was the first responding officer there,” Leon said.

He said with the help of Live 911, he was able to respond quickly and resuscitate people with CPR in two different situations. One of them was an 11-year-old who later went to a hospital in critical condition.

“I just found out today that he lived,” Leon said. “I was like, ‘Oh that is awesome. Great news.’”

Even better news for the people who need that urgent help.

Weber County deputies and dispatchers are hopeful more agencies in Utah will see how Live 911 is helping.

Rose said, “The quicker the deputies in the field can get the information, the better the outcome.”

All patrol deputies with the Weber County Sheriff’s Office have access to Live 911.

Depending on staffing in their area, they can adjust the size of the radius around them for which calls they hear and they can switch between calls as needed.

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How Live 911 is saving lives in Weber County