08/25/09 113 W - + 9 - 9 Streets, Spellings, Address Locating

Also on the subject of dispatching, we missed this WTVD story last week about a fatal house fire in Durham on Monday night. Lebanon, Eno, Bahama, and Durham City responded to the fire at 118 Chanticliff Place. However, they were dispatched several extra minutes after the fire was first reported. The story includes audio of the caller spelling the street name. Units were initially sent to similar sounding, but different address. Is this a simple case of a cell phone caller, with no automatic address locating? Versus someone using a land line and which automatically displays the street name to dispatchers? Readers, please offer perspectives as desired. Read the story.

Hey Mike… you even got the street name wrong! The story has the address as Shantercliff (which your spell checker doesn’t like!) I’m sure most of us at sometime have heard the name/word Chanticleer and the sound of shantercliff would likely lead one to expect the other. With that said the story left out the phone provider when stating that the caller was working to determine why the address didn’t register. I suspect that they had some form of VoIP phone service that inhibited the enhanced 911 from picking up the correct street. Combine that with phone service that doesn’t work when the power is out and what has been a reliable and beneficial system to to emergency services is compromised or lost. The thought of saving money with bundled services has been a thought but with kids at home it is not worth considering anymore. Any telecommunicators out there that can comment?
D.Cates - 08/26/09 - 12:48

I’ve been using Vonage for 5 years. I, too, assumed the caller has some form of VoIP but didn’t set it up correctly. When you set up the account a message box pops up explaining about the E911 and that your address will not show up if you don’t set it up correctly. It was pretty easy to set it up. I even called the non-emergency number to RWECC and they verified my correct address.
RescueRanger - 08/26/09 - 19:39

As surfaced by FireNews, this Durham Herald story continues the story, http://firenews.net/index.php/headlines/..
Legeros - 08/28/09 - 06:24

I’ll defer from direct comments on the Durham call, but speak to VoIP and technology. There were significant documented issues with VoIP early on, including the routing of VoIP emergency calls to seven digit numbers that rang on empy desks. MOST of those VoIP problems have been corrected, and MOST VoIP calls get properly directed, BUT with more than 700 VoIP providers nationwide, who knows who does it right and who doesn’t? For example, Time Warner assigns addressible modems, and your service is tied to your install record. Vonage is an add-on to whatever ISP you are using, so the customer must correctly fill out the E 9-1-1 information. If you make an error – or move without changing the address (even overseas) your call will not be routed to the proper PSAP. Then there’s Magic Jack and the like; an entirely different challenge altogether. Been following the talk about texting 9-1-1? Great concept, but it would be really nice if texting provided a call-back number and a location. The National Emergency Number Assocation (NENA) has adopted the credo, “Emergency Help, anywhere, anytime, any device.” Sounds great, but it’s about as possible right now as guaranteeing that the first due engine will “put out every fire, anytime, anywhere, no matter what’s burning.” We are trying to manage 21st. century consumer electronics on 1960’s vintage networks.
[RWECC] - 08/28/09 - 09:25

The N&O is reporting that the dispatcher involved has been fired.
Paul - 08/29/09 - 09:43

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