Emergency Responders Calling for Public Meetings
Posted on Thursday, November 12th, 2009
Priceless: Marietta Police Chief Linda Johnson wore a campaign shirt to the E911 planning meeting Monday night. It reads, “E-911 user fee per cell phone – 50¢. E-911 user fee per landline – $2.50. 911 Responder saving your life – PRICELESS.”
A series of five public meetings will help Love County voters determine whether to pass an approximate $2.50 per month fee on landline telephones and a $.50 per month fee on cell phones to fund a modern emergency communication system.
The newer system would help ambulance, police, and volunteer fire crews locate 911 phone callers more quickly. The election is Dec. 8.
“We want residents to come out and let us answer their questions the best we can,” said Toni Peery, volunteer firefighter/emergency medical responder, and chair of the Enhanced 911 Planning Committee.
“This new system takes time to put in but it will save lives and property and eliminate the time, cost, and helplessness of driving around searching for callers.”
All meetings start at 7 p.m. They will take place at Greenville Public School on Nov. 17, Turner School Auditorium on Nov. 19, Thackerville Public School on Nov. 24, Enville Community Center on Nov. 30, and Marietta School Cafeteria on Dec. 3.
City/County Emergency Management Director Tracey Smithwick will use slides to explain the benefits of E911.
Shelly Stahlbusch, coordinator of the E911 system in Carter County, will be on hand for the first two meetings. AT&T’s E911 specialist Ronnie Freeman will speak on Nov. 19 and Dec. 3. Mapping and addressing specialist Jacque Peace with Spatial Data Research in Sherman, TX, also will answer questions.
The meetings are sponsored by emergency services throughout the county.
E911 will pinpoint the location of callers through digital mapping displays, guiding responders to scenes even if callers are unable to state their location or driving directions as the current 911 call system requires.
As part of the run-up to E911, rural roads without names will be named and residents will receive house numbers.
The E911 address will become their mailing address and qualify them for home delivery of packages, the same as city residents.
Implementation is expected to take up to three years.
The only items on the Dec. 8 ballot are the telephone service fees. There are no new property or sales taxes associated with the E911 election, Peery said.