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E-911 on the move

Features Editor

To say that the E911 effort in Pike County is "on the move" might be an understatement.

In order to better serve the community, the Pike County Communications District E-911 office has relocated to 1301 Elba Highway, across from God’s Way Baptist Church.

"The board of juvenile probation services allowed us to move in with them," said Tina Jones, E-911 director. "This is a more convenient location and it will save us money as well."

And, Jones said the move to E-911 addressing is coming along at a good pace.

"Our equipment will be in July 22 and we will begin training the emergency responders and the 911 operators in early August," she said. "The cleanup with the post offices should be completed by the first of the year.

The "cleanup" to which Jones referred is completing the assignment of E-911 addresses to all Pike County residents.

The first mailout containing packets with questionnaires that were to be completed and returned to the post office and to the E-911 office failed to get the needed 65 percent response necessary to get the program under way.

Sixty-seven percent of the residents responded to a second mailout, allowing Jones to move forward.

"Those who didn’t respond have made it much harder to get our E-911 service in operation," Jones said. "I have been working with the post offices in this cleanup phase to locate those who have not responded to the mailouts. The

post offices are delivering letters to these residents and I am going out and physically locating and assigning addresses to these people."

Jones said the response from the letters delivered by the post office has been good and she has been successful in locating many who did not respond to any of the efforts to reach them.

"I would think that we have more than 80 percent of the households in the county assigned with an E-911 address," she said. "Those who have not responded and those who have not been personally contacted are encouraged to contact the office so we can get their E-911 address assigned."

Jones said the advantage of having an E-911 address is that, in the event of an emergency, the rescue units could easily and quickly find the address.

"Addresses with routes and box numbers are mailing addresses," she said. "They are not for emergency services."

The E-911 office will provide new residents with addresses and provide information about the E-911 service. All of the E-911 data will be maintained at the office.

The E-911 operators will be the dispatchers for the cities of Troy and Brundidge and the Pike County Sheriff’s office.

However, in November, all Pike County calls to E-911 will go to a central point and be routed by the dispatcher to the the appropriate agency, Jones said.

Office hours for the E-911 office are 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Jones can be reached at 670-6600.