Milton drops Fulton 911 for deal with Alpharetta - @ JEMS.com


Milton drops Fulton 911 for deal with Alpharetta


 
 

Marcus K. Garner | | Sunday, August 17, 2008


MILTON, Ga. -- The city of Milton won't depend on Fulton County's 911 call center after September.

Officials of the north Fulton city inked a pact earlier this month that will shift emergency dispatching from the Fulton County Emergency Communications Center in Atlanta to the 911 center in Alpharetta.

As Fulton's emergency call center comes under scrutiny because of a recent botched call that ended with a Johns Creek woman's death, Milton public safety director Chris Lagerbloom took heart in his city's plans.

"Some of the catastrophic failures we've seen further solidify that we've made the right choice," Lagerbloom said Saturday.

Milton's move, set for Oct. 1, has been planned since December and predated the Aug. 2 emergency call in which Fulton 911 operator Gina Conteh took 25 minutes to dispatch help to a dying Darlene Dukes.

In a prepared statement Sunday night, Fulton County Manager Zachary Williams noted Milton's decision was made before the "unfortunate incident that occurred two weeks ago." He continued, "I have a responsibility to take all steps necessary to assure public confidence in the county's 911 system."

In addition to emergency dispatchers, Milton and Alpharetta will share fire responders, sending fire engines from the closest station to the call regardless of the city. But the ability to dispatch fire, police and ambulances more quickly is a key to the change, Lagerbloom said.

Alpharetta police spokesman George Gordon said having a Rural/Metro Ambulance dispatch desk inside the city's 911 call center makes for a quicker, seamless connection to emergency medical aid.

"This way, there's no miscommunication," Gordon said. "Once an Alpharetta dispatcher logs it, the Rural/Metro dispatcher gets it and calls an ambulance."

Evidence of additional miscommunications in Fulton's 911 call center surfaced last week in an interoffice memo from embattled director Alfred "Rocky" Moore. It noted shortfalls of a new system requiring operators dispatching Rural/Metro ambulances to Milton and Johns Creek to dial a 10-digit number in Alpharetta.

In the Aug. 5 memo, Moore said, "There were nine episodes of failure to notify the Rural/Metro Ambulance company" when medical help was needed.

The new system took effect Aug. 1 and may have contributed to a 20-minute lapse in Conteh's Aug. 2 call that further delayed an ambulance, even after police and fire were called.

Lagerbloom said at least one of those nine calls mentioned in Moore's memo involved a Milton woman whose car struck a deer.

Fulton 911 operators, Lagerbloom said, "dispatched police, like they normally would," but failed to notify Rural/Metro. After arriving at the scene and finding the driver was not hurt, "police canceled the ambulance, then realized no ambulance was coming anyway," he said.

In his statement, Williams referred to the independent audit he has requested of the Emergency Communications Center, and said, "The work of the outside auditor will incorporate the contents of this memorandum and the issues it raises to determine what needs to be done to identify and correct any shortcomings in our system."

Lagerbloom also pointed to a number of technological enhancements that will be an improvement, for less money, over what Fulton's 911 center offers.

He said that for about $100,000 less than Fulton's roughly $600,000 annual fee, the Alpharetta 911 center will be able to "push" dispatch information to computers in police cars and locate emergency vehicles.

"We can dispatch the closest resources, because our dispatchers will always know where they are," Lagerbloom said.




Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Communications and Dispatch

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Improving Survival from Cardiac Arrest Using ACD-CPR + ITD

Using active compression-decompression CPR with an ITD has been shown to improve 1-year survival from cardiac arrest by 33%.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Three Injured in Philadelphia Collapse

Parapet wall falls through roof of store.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

California Firefighters save Man on Flight

Patient was conscious and talking when United flight landed.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Over Half of Seattle Fire Stations Test Positive for MRSA

Surprisingly high results come from test kits based on earlier study.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Hands On February 2015

Here’s a look at this month’s product hands on.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Nightwatch Series Premiere Party

JEMS Editor-in-Chief A.J. Heightman attends the series premiere of A&E's new reality show, "Nightwatch."
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Ottawa Chemical Investigation

Chemicals and suspicious package are probed at two locations
More >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >