FLEMINGTON, NJ – Today marks the 40th anniversary of the county’s Division of Communications 9-1-1 system, which enables it to dispatch emergency services to homes and businesses throughout Hunterdon.

It was the state’s first county-wide 9-1-1 system, and began operations in a four-room farmhouse. The Communications Center first went live in 1976.

“Public safety is at the center of our responsibilities as elected officials,” said Hunterdon Freeholder Director John Lanza in a press release. “The Communications Center has successfully adapted to the needs of our communities as we’ve grown and to the ever-changing technology needed to best serve our residents and businesses,”

Sign Up for E-News

Today, Communications is a division under the Hunterdon’s Department of Public Safety, and continues to provide emergency dispatching for all the municipal police, fire, and EMS agencies in the county from a 7,500-square-foot facility, utilizing the newest technologies, including mobile texting.

Additionally, Communications transacts with regional State Police sites, the Prosecutor’s Office, the Sheriff’s Department, county courts, Parks and Recreation Rangers, the Medical Examiner’s Office, Hunterdon Medical Center paramedic units, and the county Health Department. It is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Last year, Communications processed 37,844 emergency calls, and dispatched more than 186,000 calls for service.

“To fully understand the enormity of the task that dispatchers have and the professionalism they bring to the job, you must hear the very real examples of the tension and panic that often accompanies a 9-1-1 call,” said Freeholder John King. He praised Communications staff for the  “cool, reassuring voice” of its dispatchers.

“County wide Communications has been a clear success here in Hunterdon,” he said.