E-911 / Communications

Our Communication Center is the lifeline between the citizens of Pickens County and all Emergency Services offered by the county. The Communication Center at the Pickens County Law Enforcement receives both emergent (911) and non-emergent calls from the public, directing those calls to officers of the Pickens County Sheriff's Office, the Pickens County Detention Center and providing general information to callers. This PSAP (Public Service Answering Point) is one of four located within Pickens County. Out center is linked to Easley Police Department Communications Center and the Clemson University Communications Center. Clemson Police Department also operates an independent communications center. All 911 calls placed within Pickens County will be answered at one of these four centers, with all mobile (cell) numbers received at the Pickens County Law Enforcement Center.

Our Communication Specialists are trained and certified by the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy and have received advanced training and certification as Emergency Medical Dispatchers (EMD) from the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO). The training process for our Telecommunication Specialists is a minimum of six months working in tandem with an experienced Field Training Telecommunications Officer before being released to operate independently. Training consists of learning proper telecommunication skills; including how to determine the nature and severity of emergency calls received, knowing the resources available and dispatching the proper responders as quickly as possible. Being a telecommunications specialist can be a very stressful job; new trainees must learn how to cope with distraught and sometime hysteric callers while still trying to maintain a calm and professional demeanor.

When calls for help are received, telecommunication specialists enter all information into a Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system. Basic information such as incident location, caller's name, and phone number are keyed in. The specialist is trained to ask question relating to the incident to determine the appropriate help needed. All of this information is keyed into the computer system and is tracked from receipt of call to the final disposition. For the protection of both the caller and the telecommunication specialists, all telephone calls are recorded and are digitally archived.

This can also be very helpful when the caller is unable to communicate by voice. We recently updated to a new "NEXT-GEN" CAD system, which when fully implemented will allow telecommunication specialist to receive and send text messages regarding emergency situations as well.

The Pickens County Sheriff's E-911 Center operates a sophisticated Computer Aided Dispatch System. This CAD system assists the telecommunicators in call entry, 911 call tracing (Land and Cellular), tracking the status of Law Enforcement, Fire/Rescue, and EMS Units as well as mapping the location of calls. The 911 Center currently employs 15 full-time and 6 part-time Communications Specialists. They currently work 12 hour shifts and are highly trained in handling 911 communications including Emergency Medical Pre-Arrival Instructions. On a monthly average, the 911 Center will receive 22,000 calls, 4,400 being 911 calls, dispatch an average of 5,600 law enforcement calls, and 1,480 Fire/Rescue/EMS calls.

The 911 Center currently dispatches for the following agencies:

  • Pickens County Sheriff's Office
  • Pickens County EMS
  • 10 EMS Medic Stations
  • 12 Fire Departments
  • 4 Rescue Squads
  • Pickens County Emergency Management
  • Pickens County Coroner's Office
  • Several After Hour Agencies
Communication Specialists Appreciation
Hayley Baldwin
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