SALT LAKE VALLEY, Utah, June 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Qwest, which is now CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL), and the Salt Lake Valley Emergency Communications Center (VECC) today announced plans to improve communications between residents needing help and the emergency services they require. These improvements will come under a next generation 911 dispatch system being implemented by Qwest at VECC, which serves the largest population center in Utah.

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090602/DA26511LOGO)

Providing the necessary bandwidth for next generation services, the new NG 911 network from Qwest is more robust, flexible, and scalable. The system also offers diverse routing, so emergency calls can be redirected as necessary during major incidents, or when receiving exceptionally high volumes of emergency calls so that no calls for help go unanswered.

According to VECC director William (Bill) Harry, the new high-speed network and database improvements are already connecting cell phone calls with the 911 center faster. "We will eventually move our emergency response system from voice-only communications to a secure Internet Protocol (IP) data and voice system," notes Harry. "By working with Qwest, we are gaining new capabilities to respond to the emergency needs of the communities we serve."

Once fully implemented, in two to three years, the system will also give VECC the ability to receive text messages, photos and vehicle crash notifications, including data on the likely injuries to passengers from automobile concierge services such as On-Star, Sync, and others. This information can then be provided to responders, enhancing public safety for all residents. Because this will include individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, the new feature will give impaired individuals new capabilities for contacting 911 directly.

"This network places Utah at the forefront with one of the most advanced 911 systems available," said Jeff Waters, vice president of sales and education services at Qwest. "Because the network is highly scalable, the 911 system will serve the current and future needs of the Salt Lake Valley community. Qwest will always have a focus on the well being of the people and communities we serve, and we are pleased to partner with VECC in providing these next generation solutions for enhanced 911 call centers.&qut CenturyLink

www.centurylink.com.

About Salt Lake Valley Emergency Communications Center

The Salt Lake Valley Emergency Communications Center (VECC) is a consolidated 9-1-1, police, fire, and medical emergency services dispatch agency located in West Valley City, Utah. VECC was formed under Utah law by six Salt Lake area cities and Salt Lake County in 1988. The current members are Bluffdale, Cottonwood Heights, Draper, Midvale City, Murray City, Sandy City, South Jordan City, South Salt Lake City, West Jordan City, West Valley City and Salt Lake County. For more information, visit www.vecc9-1-1.com

SOURCE CenturyLink, Inc.