CARBONDALE - As part of an effort to improve emergency response in the region, two southern Illinois counties have installed and started using newly-upgraded 911 systems.
Both Union and Saline Counties began using their improved 911 systems last week. It took about eight years to obtain the funding for the project, with 15 counties combining efforts to facilitate the project.
Both counties join Jackson County, which began using the upgraded system last month. Johnson, Williamson, and Perry Counties are expected to start using the new systems soon.
The new 911 systems feature extensive upgrades, including the capability to receive text messages, video, and large digital files, like floor plans and maps. Southern Illinois communities will also be able to route calls to other centers, if the need arises.