Calling 9-1-1 may not be the quickest way to get help in some Co - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Calling 9-1-1 may not be the quickest way to get help in some Columbiana Counties

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CALCUTTA, Ohio - In an emergency, seconds count but in Columbiana County there are communities where a call to 9-1-1 may actually delay a response to help by several minutes.

The average response time for Glenmoor and Calcutta Volunteer Fire Departments is 4 to 5 minutes. But the department fire chiefs say by calling 9-1-1 that response could be delayed up to an additional three minutes. That's because 9-1-1 calls in the county first go to one of five dispatch centers.

For residents living in the Calcutta and Glenmoor area the majority of their calls first go to the East Liverpool Police Department. Dispatchers there then relay the message to the fire departments dispatch center.

"In the fire service one to three minutes could be very crucial," said Glenmoor Fire Chief Matt Smith.

Some cell phone calls to 9-1-1 can cause an even greater delay, sometimes being transferred out of the county and possibly the state.

"Their 9-1-1 system has to take the call, transfer it back to our 9-1-1 system, which in turns transfers it back to our dispatch," said Calcutta Volunteer Fire Chief Scott Smith. "We did a year and a half ago, have a 12 minute delay on a car fire."

The department chiefs say a possible solution could be a single county dispatch center or an enhanced 9-1-1 system.

Commissioner Tim Weigle is part of a committee that helps spear head the county 9-1-1 system. He says changes to the current system are only a matter of time, due to changes in technology and one consideration is to combine the 5 dispatch locations into a single location.

"Today the Sheriff answers about 47-48% of the calls so it would not be much of a staffing issue to get the Sheriffs Department ready to answer all of the 911 calls," said Weigle.

The question remains how the future changes could directly affect Calcutta and Glenmoor but Weigle says he is willing to sit down with both Chiefs and discuss ways to streamline the dispatching process.

In the meantime, Calcutta and Glenmoor Fire Chiefs say while residents can still call 9-1-1 the quickest way to get a hold of them in an emergency is to call their direct emergency lines.

Calcutta Emergency Line: (330) 386-5311

Glenmoor Emergency Line: (330) 385-5627

But both fire chiefs emphasize, residents can still call 9-1-1.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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