Archive for Friday, February 26, 1993

COUNTY 911 SYSTEM EXPECTED ON LINE MARCH 8

February 26, 1993

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The county's new emergency response system should be completely on line March 8, about two months after originally expected, an official said Thursday.

Ted McFarlane, director of Emergency Medical Services and Emergency Preparedness, said United Telephone Systems was loading Baldwin phone data into the Enhanced 911 computer today.

The data will allow the computer to immediately show dispatchers the location of callers based on their phone numbers.

McFarlane said if the data transfer goes well, he will take Douglas County commissioners on a tour of the four-console system after their March 8 meeting.

Completing the new rural address system and loading the phone data have contributed to the system's delays. Dispatchers have been trying out the system on a partial set of data since January.

"We've got about 80 percent in now," Douglas County Undersheriff Don Dalquest said. "We're just getting everyone used to the system."

A baby stopped breathing recently and a relative dialed 911, he said. "The dispatcher already knew the name and phone number," Dalquest said. "This guy was surprised about that."

There have been a few kinks, however.

Callers using mobile phones sometimes will be routed to the Kansas City 911 system, for example, because the phone companies transmit the calls on radio waves to various locations, McFarlane said.

"People will call and say, `Hey, there's an accident at Ninth and Massachusetts,' and they'll say, `Where's that?' " he said.

McFarlane said the two companies serving Lawrence, Cellular One and Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems, will pay to correct the problems.

"They want their customers to have access to the (Lawrence) emergency response system," he said. "Who wants help from St. Louis?"

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