TURLEY, Oklahoma - A new program aimed at speeding up response times for fire rescue personnel in Turley could help save lives.
Turley Fire Rescue is 100 percent volunteer-based, and Chief Keith Ross said the new change is one of the biggest for the department in last 20 years.
Ross said the much-needed change has been about a year in the making.
"We're gonna receive those calls around two to three minutes faster than we were before, under our old system," he said.
With the old system, callers would first be sent through the 911 dispatch center in Tulsa, and then be transferred to a third party answering service before the information was sent to Turley Fire Rescue.
Under the new program, the answering service is cut out.
"A much quicker response than we were getting before. The information that the firefighters are given prior to responding is going to be much better,” the chief said.
Ross said firefighters are also now getting more information about the calls that they are responding to before they arrive on scene.
"It's a step into that countywide response system that we are all trying to go for," he said.
This will also allow firefighters on scene to get help quicker.
"This is gonna make it a whole lot easier to get assistance when we are out there and the situation requires more than our crews are able to provide," Ross said.
The chief said, in the past, they have been able to communicate with Tulsa by radio but have needed to get the dispatching side of things cleaned up.
Ross said he believes this will amount to quicker response times and will aid in saving more lives.
"We are now compliant with all the modern standards on radio communications. We can pretty much talk to anyone in our region that we need to," he said.
The new system went into effect Wednesday.