Southwest Regional Communication Center Celebrates 20 Years
DESOTO – It is officially known as the Southwest Regional Communication Center (SWRCC). To those reporting emergencies, it is recognized as the faceless voices who answer important 9-1-1 calls.
Last week the communication center celebrated its 20th anniversary. Because of weather, the festivities were held at the DeSoto Corner Theater with a reception following at SWRCC headquarters on S. Parks Drive in DeSoto.
With two decades of service, the SWRCC is a Best Southwest Partnership of cities project that has seen true success.
It was in October 1999 the cities of DeSoto, Duncanville and Cedar Hill decided to join together to create the Southwest Regional Communications Center (SWRCC) team. The idea was to better serve the residents in all three cities simultaneously.
“While we might be rivals when it comes to our favorite high school football teams, but we are solid partners when it comes to ventures like the Southwest Regional Communications Center (SWRCC) which has allowed our three cities to better serve and protect all of our residents for the past two decades,” said DeSoto Mayor Curtistene S. McCowan.
Prior to joining forces, each city initially operated its own 9-1-1 emergency dispatch center and coordinated with its own residents and fire and police departments.
Coordinating and delivering an emergency response on a city by city basis took extra time that those seeking help often did not have. It also required manpower that stretched City workforces thin while also depleting valuable resources that could be spent more efficiently on a shared regional basis.
At the recent 20th Anniversary celebration, representatives from all three cities came together to commemorate the anniversary of the creation of this life saving partnership.
“The SWRCC is a sterling example of talented and dedicated first responders who can know with certainty with the end of every shift that they have made a major difference in the life of every resident that they have assisted,” McCowan said.
Part of the reason for the success of this collaboration is the high degree of internal communication and coordination that puts all the first responders on the same page operationally , whether they be the emergency dispatchers at SWRCC or the police or firefighters in the field
“The SWRCC’s senior staff meets monthly with the senior fire and police officials from all three cities to discuss what is working, what isn’t, and how we are going to proceed in the future,” said 9-1-1 Director Tamara Bell who runs the Southwest Regional Communications Center.
Emergency dispatchers even go through firefighter training at DeSoto’s Fire Academy.
“Everyone is aware of the types of situations that firefighters will be encountering on the scene,” Bell concluded. “This cross-training and info sharing makes our operations run smoothly and likely saves lives.”