Northwest Emergency Communications Center

Dispatching and radio communications have undergone dramatic changes over the last several decades. The singular and arguably most far-reaching transformation was the elimination of unique seven-digit emergency numbers for each fire and law enforcement agency. The push toward a universal 9-1-1 calling system went through some rocky stages but has resulted in a major success story for most of the United States.

In Franklin County we are fortunate to have what is commonly known as "enhanced 9-1-1", where the dispatcher also can see the location from which you are calling, even if you are on a cell phone.

The next major advancement was the countywide transition to the 800 megahertz radio band. Prior to this, most emergency responders worked on their own unique frequency which could be on what is termed "low-band" or "high band", or "ultra-high band". This literally led to occasions where incident commanders could be seen carrying multiple walkie-talkies and trying to keep all resources organized and talking to each other. The new system still allowed each agency their own portions of the radio spectrum (known as "talk groups") on which to operate, but included the ability to switch to any other agency's day-to-day communication channel when responding with multiple jurisdictions. Best of all, these hundreds of talk groups are all available on one piece of radio hardware.

The most recent dramatic shift was in the early 2000s, when the FCC required all the individual emergency agencies to streamline and consolidate their dispatching into a handful of Public Safety Answering Points, or PSAPs. This was a move toward a more regionalized management of radio communication. For Worthington, the PSAP is the Northwest Emergency Communications Center (NRECC). Located in Dublin, it also serves the fire departments in Upper Arlington, Norwich Township, and Washington Township, and the Worthington, Hilliard, UA, and Dublin police.

Those interested in additional information about NRECC can visit