Emergency responders pledge fix to 911 call mix-ups - New York News

Emergency responders pledge fix to 911 call mix-ups

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ATLANTA -

Police in Atlanta and DeKalb County promise they'll both respond to residents trapped in a 911 communications hole.

East Atlanta Community Association President Kevin Spigner has 10,000 residents who live in East Atlanta. Depending on which block they live on and if they use a cell phone to call 911, they may be connected to the wrong emergency center.

A task force of DeKalb County and Atlanta first-responders is trying to close the gap in communications, which can cost minutes in response time.

"What we want to send home to citizens is that the police department -- regardless of which agency -- we are coming," said Major Tim Peek of the Atlanta Police Department.

Peeks said past instances of officers debating which agency should handle a call will not be tolerated.

"What we are more concerned with is the emergency response ," Peek said. "Making sure that if there is a need for medical attention, we are going to get there and assess the situation as first-responders and ensure you get services you need. After that point we can work out the paperwork."

Atlanta and DeKalb County don't have identical equipment, so there is no simple fix. Still, Spigner is optimistic.

"We are going to see great progress and hopefully when people go to sleep at night, they will feel a little bit easier knowing that if something does happen, when they call 911, they will get the response that they need and deserve," said Spigner.

In the next meeting, officials will discuss the problem with cell phone providers in an effort to get the cell towers directed to the right spots.

Earlier this year, DeKalb County worked out a solution to a similar problem with the city of Decatur.

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