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LaSalle County 911, IL: Speeding Up Dispatch with Total Response

Total Response gives us the ability to dispatch faster and more precisely.”

Curtis A. Yasm, 911 Communications Director, La Salle County (Illinois) Sheriff's Office


With a philosophy of “Seconds Saves Lives,” LaSalle County has long put a premium on providing exceptional service through its 911 Communications Center.

  • Communications Division currently staffs 12 full-time Telecommunicators (TCs), serving a population of 109,658.
  • Located within the Fox Valley and Illinois River Valley regions of the state of Illinois. Its county seat and largest city is Ottawa.
  • LaSalle County is only 60 miles from Chicago, and retains a unique identity with a mix of river towns and vast expanses of farmland.


LaSalle County has depended upon PowerPhone‘s structured call handling for more than a decade.

PowerPhone has been a strong solution for us for years, so when the county decided to move from the PowerPhone flip card system to a call handling software system, we looked at PowerPhone’s Total Response. We were impressed by what we saw and selected it for our next generation of 911 call handling.”

Curtis A. Yasm, 911 Communications Director, La Salle County Sheriff's Office


LaSalle County 911 has enjoyed a number of benefits since deploying Total Response software, including:

Faster, More Precise, Call Handling

The LaSalle County 911 Communications Center handles all emergency calls—Fire, Police, and Emergency Medical. Total Response gives Telecommunicators the power to handle all calls from a single integrated platform.

Yasm is impressed by the flexible design in Total Response—allowing TCs to more rapidly and precisely handle calls.

“The ease of use of Total Response is greatly appreciated,” Yasm says. “Our TCs have the questions and additional information right on the screen in front of them.

Other solutions Yasm has seen require TCs to answer all questions in a strict order, which can be frustrating for the person calling in an emergency, and the call handler. “Total Response has flexible scripts which gives us the ability to hone in on the information we need to swiftly and precisely gather dispatch assistance,” Yasm says. “This is better for everyone. It was one of the biggest selling points for us—being freed from regimented questioning.”

Handle Any Emergency Call Seamlessly

LaSalle County includes beautiful rural areas, making it especially important that Total Response provides an integrated solution so a TC can handle any emergency—whether requiring police, fire, or EMS.

“Our largest city has a population of less than 20,000 so we don’t have specialized 911 centers like some larger areas might have,” Yasm says. “Our TCs need to be able to handle whatever comes in—whether for Police, Fire, or EMS. Total Response allows us to do this because all of the protocols are accessed from the same screen, and load automatically as needed,” Yasm says. “Our TCs do everything. We don’t have that luxury of having separate people doing the separate tasks. Total Response allows our TCs to go from one situation to another automatically and instantly. That’s a big benefit for us.”

Enhanced Situational Awareness

LaSalle County 911 values the integration of Total Response with its CAD system. “Having all information from Total Response flow into our CAD system for immediate access was a major sales point for us.”

The integration between Total Response and our CAD system removes a lot of worry and potential confusion for our TCs. The two-way integration means that the information they need is always there.”

Curtis A. Yasm, 911 Communications Director, La Salle County Sheriff's Office

“Integration with our CAD system also means that the information is immediately available to our first responders,” Yasm says.  This increases the data they have while enroute, providing greater situational awareness.”

Quicker Adoption Through Onsite Training

LaSalle County 911 is impressed with the training they receive from PowerPhone—both in person and through its online classes.

“For the in-person, end user software training from PowerPhone, I sat through every class, and they did a wonderful job,” Yasm says. “The participation by our TCs and interaction between them and the Implementation Manager, was just fantastic. We could see what a good application we had with Total Response, and how well it was going to work for us.”

PowerPhone’s onsite user training meets the students’ needs and leads to greater adoption of the Total Response software for every type of emergency call.

Accessible Training Anytime, Anywhere

The LaSalle County 911 Communications Center also values the extensive online training PowerPhone provides to enable TCs to enhance their skillsets at their own pace and time.

We like that the PowerPhone online training is available to all of our people for just an annual fee. We don’t have to get a new license every time a TC wants to take a continuing education course. This makes it easier for everyone to continue their growth in this very important field.”

Curtis A. Yasm, 911 Communications Director, La Salle County Sheriff's Office

For years we have used PowerPhone training for our certifications.” Yasm says. “We receive proactive alerts to help ensure that none of our TCs ever have one of their certifications expire. The ability to handle certification trainings and to track expiration dates all online is going to be a big help for us.”

PowerPhone is a “Top-Notch Company to Work With”

In our years of working with PowerPhone, it has proven to be a top-notch company to work with. Their customer service is excellent. If you have a question, it gets answered immediately—not next week. From project implementation, to training, to customer service, everybody is fantastic to work with.”

Curtis A. Yasm, 911 Communications Director, La Salle County Sheriff's Office

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