Video calls aren’t just for catching up with grandchildren across state lines anymore, as Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong put it — they can also help during 911 calls. Lehigh County will take advantage of just such help, thanks to a new partnership with the company Prepared Live that allows residents to provide camera access on their phones to dispatchers, Armstrong said Wednesday. 911 Communications Director Don Smith explained how the feature works at a news conference Wednesday afternoon: During a 911 call, a dispatcher can request access to the caller’s phone camera if they feel the need to see what’s going on. The dispatcher would text a link to the caller, who can then decide whether to grant camera access on their phone. The program doesn’t require downloading a phone app, Armstrong said, and isn’t limited to a specific operating system, such as an iPhone. “This is something that is easily used,” he said. Smith and Armstrong said the technology would be useful for purposes such as making sure someone is doing CPR correctly or identifying one’s surroundings if they’re lost. “We’ve come a long way from ringing the bell and saying ‘hear ye, hear ye,’ ” Armstrong said. “But if we don’t keep [adapting] to the future, we’re going to be left behind.” The dispatcher’s access to the camera would only last for the duration of the call, but any footage from the call would be archived by Prepared Live. Smith said Prepared Live would only use that footage for record-keeping purposes. Dispatchers are receiving training for using the video tool properly. If a dispatcher wishes to blur any images from a video call, they can opt to blur the image on their own screen while the video continues to record. The program won’t result in additional costs for residents, Armstrong said, and the county will put additional information on its website Friday for people to learn more. It also won’t delay the normal services provided through a 911 call, Smith said. “We will always get the location of what’s going on [and] we’ll get the emergency responders going,” Smith said.