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TDOT and THP merge dispatch centers for faster response time

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TDOT and the Tennessee Highway Patrol are teaming up to dispatch help to accidents along Tennessee roadways. The merge is the first of its kind in the state and it went live Wednesday morning.

“When you're on the road and an emergency happens, you don't care who comes get you. You just want help,” said Tracy Trott.

THP and TDOT are officially working as one to get to emergency situations faster.

“This will bring about more communication, more efficiency in responding to crashes, and it is a great example of the partnership these two departments have,” said Bill Gibbons the Commissioner from the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security.

The merger of the two dispatch centers will help them better locate accidents and cut down on the time it takes to respond and clear the roadways. Beginning Wednesday THP dispatchers and TDOT operators will be under one roof. A relationship highway officials believe will be critical in saving lives.

“This is a way for us to join and partner instantly in situations in which may be an emergency nature across this region.”

From the facility on Volkswagen Drive, dispatchers will have access to TDOT’s Smartway Cameras, including those located on the I-75 fog zone. Over one hundred cameras will help to accomplish one goal. “We have truly one goal and that is to save lives,” said John Schroer, TDOT Commissioner.

Motorist can also expect faster response time when something goes wrong on the interstate.

“We would have to search the Internet to find that link and to find that camera. Here now we have the information instantly to us. We can monitor the situation,” said Lieutenant  Bill Miller with the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Officials said this merger will ensure better means of state-wide communication which will keep Tennesseans on the roadway safe.

“It’s just a tremendous tool we are going to have available and tremendous opportunity for us to be able to serve the state of Tennessee in  a much efficient and timely manner.”

THP will have separate quarters in the TDOT building while still performing the same tasks. That means no job loss as a part of the merge. This is a first for the state, and TDOT officials tell us it is possible other regions will follow Chattanooga’s lead. 

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