The Combined Communications Center (CCC) is a consolidated 9-1-1 communications center that provides public safety communications services for the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office (ASO), Alachua County Fire Rescue (ACFR), Gainesville Police Department (GPD), Gainesville Fire Rescue (GFR), and the High Springs Police Department (HSPD). The CCC also provides police or fire communications services to other municipalities within the county including LaCrosse, Archer, Waldo, Micanopy, Newberry, and Hawthorne.
The Center is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with highly trained, professional 9-1-1 telecommunicators. They are the “first of the first responders” to field hundreds of incoming calls each day, prioritize situations, determine the best course of action, and quickly forward that information to the appropriate public safety first responders. They monitor multiple radio frequencies, dispatch calls to police, fire, and medical units, access a variety of local, state, and federal databases, and track activities in the field. The split-second decisions they make can literally mean the difference between life and death.
CCC 9-1-1 telecommunicators receive extensive training and meet stringent standards. They are certified by the state of Florida as telecommunicators, and have additional certifications in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD), and Emergency Fire Dispatch (EFD). The EMD and EFD systems gather critical information and provide life-sustaining instructions in an emergency until the arrival of first responders. CCC 9-1-1 telecommunicators are also trained in Emergency Mental Health Dispatch (EMHD) and receive Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) to more effectively process requests for service that involve persons in mental health crises.
CCC is equipped with modern and technologically advanced equipment systems, and features a fully redundant and enhanced 9-1-1 system (E9-1-1) that automatically displays the telephone number and location of 9-1-1 calls made from landline or wireless phones. A computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system tracks all calls for service whether they are for law enforcement, fire-rescue, or emergency medical services (EMS). The center also uses an 800 MHz trunked radio system that allows for local and statewide interoperable radio communications. In conjunction with the Alachua County E9-1-1 Office, CCC maintains the “Smart911” system, which allows citizens who complete a confidential online safety and medical profile so their information is available at the CCC for first responders. CCC also has text to 9-1-1 capability and is preparing for other advances in 9-1-1 technology.
The CCC is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploiting Children (NCMEC); this partnership is a commitment by the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and partner agencies to utilize established best practices to assist these children and their families in some of the worst situations imaginable.
Public Safety Communications Accreditation Program (PSCAP) through Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA)
CALEA accreditation provides a communications center with a process to systematically review and assess its operations and procedures. The ASO Combined Communications Center (CCC) received its initial CALEA PSCAP Accreditation in 2002. In 2011, the CCC received the distinguished “Flagship Award” from CALEA, awarded only to the most successful CALEA-accredited agencies in recognition of their achievements and expertise. In March 2014, the CCC received its first Gold Standard Award, further elevating the CCC to elite status among accredited centers. The Gold Standard Assessment focuses on processes and outcomes through interviews and observations, as opposed to traditional intensive and comprehensive file review. The sixth reaccreditation assessment was held in November 2020, with the agency’s third Gold Standard Award awarded on March 26, 2021.