Sumner County Emergency Communications Center

Sumner Co Ribbon Cutting ECC 2017

Sumner County is located in the heart of northern Middle Tennessee; the county is home to eight cities: Gallatin, Goodlettsville, Hendersonville, Millersville, Mitchellville, Portland, Westmoreland and White House and is one of the fastest growing counties in the state. Over the last two decades Sumner County and its communities have experienced multiple tornados and storm disasters resulting in county-wide property destruction and property losses totaling hundreds of millions of dollars. The need to consolidate emergency response services was clearly demonstrated during each storm event, including a tornado in 2006 that required the evacuation of the EMS Dispatch Center during the storm.

In 2014, the County Executive requested assistance, and the University of Tennessee Institute of Public Service County Technical Assistance Service (CTAS) and Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS) brought together leaders from each city, the county, law enforcement and emergency service providers to develop plans for a state-of-the-art computer-aided dispatch center. The process produced plans for a new Emergency Communications Center (ECC) to be the primary answering point for all 911 emergency and administrative calls in Sumner County and the dispatch point for police, fire and emergency medical field resources. The new ECC would greatly improve the efficiency in which emergency calls are managed with public safety telecommunication staff in place to handle every call from start until finish and would consolidate eight public answering points for sixteen fire departments and eight law enforcements agencies to one.

Project leaders determined that the new dispatch facility would be constructed in a FEMA rated hardened facility designed to withstand an EF-5 tornado to insure continuous operations in every situation. The new facility would combine all of the cities and county dispatch in one location with state-of-the-art-equipment, security systems and readiness with next generation E-911 services. Downtime during disaster situations would be minimized with back-up power through generators and interoperability with each agency and community. Benefits of the new facility and consolidation of all telecommunications staff in one location would include the insured safety of personnel, equipment and data and the integrity of emergency services provided to the community.  The ECC would also be responsible for providing additional non-emergency functions to all agencies including National Crime Information Center (NCIC) reporting, answering agency administrative calls, notifying utilities of service calls, monitoring closed-circuit security systems and weather conditions.

A key factor in the success of the project was collaborative planning and partnerships with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD), CTAS, MTAS, the Greater Nashville Regional Council and many groups within the county. Sumner County efforts are now used as a model for consolidated dispatch across the state and the consolidation agreement for shared operating costs between all units of government serves as a model for other communities.  

Community Impact

In July of 2017, the Sumner County ECC opened for business and since that time the center has become the critical link between community members calling for assistance and public safety responders in the field. The new facility has drastically improved Sumner County 911 communications and increased emergency readiness, improved dispatch to public safety personnel and increased services to citizens. First year project results include:

Population Served 180,000
Number of 911 Emergency Calls 46,636
Number of Non-Emergency Administrative Calls  225,000
Employment 50
New ECC Positions  27
Law Enforcement Agencies Served 6
Fire Departments Served 12
Emergency Medical and Management Agencies Served 2
Hours of Operation 7 days per week, 24 hours a day, 365 days per year

Project Funding

TNECD Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Grant  $2,850,000
Sumner County $2,000,000
Sumner County E-911 Board  $900,000
TOTAL ECC PROJECT FUNDING (Projections for federal and state grant funds, local investments) $5,750,000

Project Leadership & Partners

Sumner County – County Executive – Project Contact
Sumner County E-911 Board
City of Gallatin
City of Hendersonville
City of Portland
City of Millersville
City of Westmoreland
Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
University of Tennessee Institute of Public Service – Municipal Technical Advisory Service
University of Tennessee Institute of Public Service – County Technical Assistance Service
Greater Nashville Regional Council

For project contact and more information visit Sumner County Tennessee.

TNECD Disaster CDBG Grant Program

TNECD manages the State’s Community Development Block Grant program and occasionally receives funding from HUD related to presidentially declared disasters.  Community Development Block Grant Disaster Grant funding can be used for projects that are eligible for CDBG funding that are directly related to damage from the disaster. As funding becomes available, TNECD notifies eligible communities.  The CDBG annual program can assist with funding for emergency operations facilities as well.


For more information visit TNECD Community and Rural Development.