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Who’s Looking Out For You?

 

 

You probably don’t give much thought to who would answer your 911 call if disaster strikes. But if the worst does happen, you’d want help from the best.

Good news for you: the best in the profession are ready to help you any time you’re on an NTTA road.

Our Safety Operations Center is staffed with 911 professionals around the clock, every day of the year.

More than just call takers, these certified specialists can access live video feeds of virtually any spot on an NTTA road to see where drivers may need assistance. Thousands of cameras allow them to locate a stalled vehicle or emergency almost instantly and give them important information that ordinary 911 centers can’t offer.

“Being able to multitask is an essential skill that is required to do the job effectively and efficiently,” said Kathy M., a team leader in the center. “It may appear like we’re just taking calls and then dispatching them, but there is a lot more to this job than that.”

In addition to sending Texas Department of Public Safety troopers to a traffic incident, the specialists also identify which city the problem happened in and coordinate with that city’s first-responder agencies. They also dispatch NTTA’s Roadside Safety Services crews if a driver becomes stranded and watch over those crews as they assist drivers. They’ll call a wrecker, if needed.

The specialists also record details as events unfold, compile reports of incidents that happened and assist in crash investigations by law enforcement and our own team.

Drivers are often panicky and sometimes confused when they call NTTA’s Safety Operations Center. Our team asks the right questions to ensure help gets to the correct location without delay.

They do this all while watching over a bank of video screens and scanning for potential problems, so they can respond quickly to keep everyone safe.

One of Kathy’s colleagues, Bliss A., worked in a New York City 911 center before moving to Texas and joining the NTTA team.

Learning the geography of each of NTTA’s eight roads, including the name of every major street they intersect as they cross through 26 cities and six counties was more challenging than anything she experienced in the Big Apple.

“A lot of people don’t get it, because it’s so much information you have to retain at one time,” she said. “In an emergency, you don’t have time to look at a map and say, ‘Is this eastbound or westbound?’”

So, whether you’re packed for a family road trip or commuting to work, rest easier knowing that this team of highly skilled specialists are watching out for your safety.

In an emergency, always call 911. If you’re stranded on our roads and need free assistance with your vehicle, dial #999.