When a father called 911 after his son accidentally cut himself last Wednesday in F. Gilbert Hills State Forest, they were under watchful eyes.
Well, at least their cellphone location data were.
Dispatchers at the Southeastern Regional Massachusetts Emergency Communications Center, located in the state forest, were watching on television monitors in “real time” as the pair moved through the forest after the 11 a.m. call.
Rob Verdone, executive director of the dispatch center, said the father carried his son to meet up with Foxboro firefighters and police in woods near the center.
But if they were not able to move, first responders could have gone into the forest and found them, even if they were not able to communicate with dispatchers.
“The father and the injured party could have gone in the wrong direction but they were going in the right direction,” Verdone said.
The boy was taken to a hospital with minor injuries, according to fire officials.
The high-tech equipment at the dispatch center allows officials to pinpoint 911 cellphone calls to within three yards depending on the signal and cellphone, Verdone said.
Previously, 911 calls from cellphones were routed through the state police headquarters in Framingham.
The $12 million center, which opened in November, handles police and fire calls for the communities of Foxboro, Mansfield, Norton and Easton.
State funds were used to renovate a Cold War era AT&T building that had been vacant for years.
Officials had a ribbon-cutting ceremony last Sunday that was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.