History

Emergency Communications of Southern Oregon (ECSO) is located in Medford Oregon and serves the population of the beautiful Rogue Valley. ECSO is a combined emergency dispatch facility and Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for the Jackson County Oregon 9-1-1 lines. The Center is also a regional "drop point" for emergency information that needs to be given to Jackson and Josephine counties. This may include severe storm warnings or notice of a foreign enemy attack. This information is received through the National Air Warning Alert System (NAWAS) radio channel that covers the entire United States.

ECSO has a rich history, starting initially as two separate 9-1-1 Centers, Southern Oregon Regional Communications (SORC) and Rogue Valley Consolidated Communications Center (RVCCOM). SORC began as a Fire Communications Center in 1973. In 1975, by resolution and support of the County Board of Commissioners, SORC became a combined, centralized communications facility including law enforcement dispatching under the organizational structure of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

Between 1976 and 1980, numerous other emergency service agencies joined SORC and implementation of the 9-1-1 emergency telephone system was initiated countywide. During this period, the financial and operational activities of the Center were under the guidance of the Jackson County Advisory Council, which was made up of representatives from each user agency.

In 1981, SORC was transferred from the Sheriff’s Office and placed organizationally under the County Administrator. In the several years that followed, control of the Center became a hotly debated issue. This finally culminated in the drafting of an agreement allowed under O.R.S. 190.10, which, in turn, established SORC as a stand-alone public entity. In essence, this agreement enabled the SORC user agencies to come together as one organizational public body providing its own control and direction of emergency communications services under the direction of the Intergovernmental Council.

In 1997, both SORC and RVCCOM implemented the Clawson system of emergency dispatch and all dispatchers are now certified in Medical Priority Dispatch Systems by the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch.

In April of 2000, each Center made a huge leap into the computer age with the addition of a Tiburon computer aided dispatch (CAD) system. This technology upgrade did away with the antiquated paper-based system, allowing for quicker and more effective use of user agency resources.

In November of 2008, after many years of negotiations between the two Centers, groundbreaking for a brand new state of the art facility built to accommodate both centers took place, as spearheaded by Jackson County Sheriff Mike Winters with the support of the County Administrator and County Commissioners.

On November 19th, 2009, employees of SORC began dispatching from the new facility on Pech Road. On February 23rd, RVCCOM employees joined SORC in the new facility as co-located Centers. As of July 1st, 2010, the two Centers merged to create a single PSAP in Jackson County operating under the name Emergency Communications of Southern Oregon answering 911 calls and dispatching Law, Fire, and EMS for 28 agencies serving a population of just over 205,000 residents.