Charleston County Expands Non-Emergency Call Handling with Machine Learning

Charleston County Expands Non-Emergency Call Handling with Machine Learning
Photo by CDC / Unsplash

Charleston County, SC - The Charleston County Consolidated Emergency Communications Center has taken a significant step towards enhancing its emergency response services by implementing fully automated machine learning technology to streamline the handling of non-emergency calls. This innovation aims to improve the efficiency of call-takers, allowing them to focus more on genuine emergency situations while providing residents with a dedicated platform for non-urgent concerns.

The center's Director, Jim Lake, expressed his enthusiasm for the new technology, stating, "We are excited about this technology as it allows our call-takers to better assist with emergency calls. Prior to using machine learning, a call-taker would have to answer calls about barking dogs, a stolen bicycle, or noisy neighbors, which takes them away from answering real emergencies. We still want residents to report those things, but we don’t need to tie up a call-taker to have it dispatched."

On average, the Charleston County Consolidated Emergency Communications Center receives approximately 210,000 calls on the non-emergency line each year. With the implementation of automated machine learning, the center expects to expedite the resolution of non-urgent matters, ensuring that resources are allocated efficiently.

In addition to the technological upgrade, Charleston County Consolidated Emergency Communications has launched a user-friendly website to facilitate direct contact with the various agencies the County serves. The website, accessible at, provides direct links to contact information and online reporting tools for law enforcement agencies, fire departments, EMS, and other county departments. This will enable residents to communicate with the relevant authorities more effectively, further enhancing community engagement and public service.

While emphasizing the importance of timely and efficient emergency response, the center also issued several vital reminders to the public:

  1. In case of an emergency, residents should call or text 9-1-1.
  2. When calling 9-1-1, it is crucial not to hang up. An automated message will remind callers not to do so, as hanging up causes significant delays in answering calls.
  3. If you accidentally call 9-1-1, do not hang up. Wait for a call-taker to answer and inform them of the accidental dial.
  4. For welfare checks or animal control requests, residents are encouraged to call 843-743-7200 or use to report their situation. This information will be entered into the County's system and directed to the appropriate agency for prompt assistance.

The Charleston County Consolidated Emergency Communications Center's commitment to enhancing both emergency response and non-emergency services demonstrates its dedication to the safety and well-being of the community. Through the adoption of cutting-edge technology and the launch of a user-friendly website, residents now have easier access to the resources and information they need in times of need or when reporting non-urgent concerns.

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