E-911 facing problems

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 11, 2002

News Editor

The implementation of the E-911 system has been plagued with problems from the beginning.

Currently, E-911 director Jan Dismukes said she is now getting complaints from residents who live out in the county who don’t want the names of the roads they live on changed to numbered roads.

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"We have considered leaving the named road signs and putting the numbered signs above them, " she said. "But everyone needs to realize their physical addresses are going to change to the numbered system in order for the system to work efficiently."

Dismukes pointed out that the new E-911 system was voted on by the people of Pike county during a referendum. She said the new system has been proven in other counties throughout the state as being the most efficient.

"The roads have to be renumbered to shorten the response time for ambulances, fire departments and law enforcement officials," Dismukes said. "It’s hard going out on a call and having to search for road names."

Dismukes said the new numbered system divides the county into seven sections setting it up like a grid. When a call comes in the location from which the call was received can be traced more quickly using the new system.

Last week a second mail-out of the E-911 packets was made because, according to Dismukes, 54 percent of the residents in the county failed to return the first ones that were mailed in July of last year.

"The response was so poor in July that the E-911 board had to request MSAG mapping company out of Virginia to re-drop the packets," she said.

The packets contain two items that are to be filled out with the resident’s old address and returned by mail. One of the items is a card that should be mailed to the post office and the other is a two-page carbonized sheet that should be mailed to MSAG in Virginia. Postage is already paid for both pieces of mail.

"It is important that even those who get their mail at a post office box to fill out the items and send them in, because it indicates where they live," said Dismukes.

A lot of the complaints Dismukes said she has received have come from residents on the named roads in the county who say they are losing their heritage by the road name being dropped from their address. She said some of the people who have contacted her have indicated they felt public hearings should be held to address their concerns.

"But this is something they’ve already voted on and approved," she said.