County residents must provide E-911 info

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 26, 2001


That’s how emergency response personnel described Pike County residents’ dismal response to E-911 questionnaires distributed earlier this year.

The packets were a critical part of the county mapping process ­ a process in which each residence, each road is mapped and numbered so it can be identified in a master database. That database will be the backbone of the Enhanced 911 system and it will allow dispatchers to immediately identify the location of an emergency call, even if the caller is unable to provide that information. Moreover, the system will give the men and women responding to the call the directions and maps needed to reach the caller ­ quickly.

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It’s a system that works well in many places. And, it’s one that should work well in Pike County … if only we’d help ourselves.

According to program coordinators, only 46 percent of the county residents who received packets responded. That means more than half the residents outside the city limits of Troy and Brundidge ­ which already are mapped and identified ­ have yet to be identified and entered into this master database.

And trying to seek out those addresses and those locations will be a time-consuming process that only slows the implementation of a much-needed public safety system.

We, as a county, should be ashamed of ourselves. We have voted to implement the E-911 system; we are paying for the equipment each month through a surcharge on our telephone bill; and we are the ones who will benefit from the service ­ a service which could ultimately save our lives.


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