Chatham County Emergency Dispatchers Have Wrong Addresses
Posted August 30, 2001
CHATHAM COUNTY — Imagine calling 911, only to find out that emergency crews cannot find your house. This is happening in Chatham County, because calls routed through a Chatham County dispatch center do not match the numbers on some houses.
Chatham County dispatchers handle up to 500 calls per day, sending police, fire and medical help to people in need. But when they tried to send an ambulance to the Jordan Hills neighborhood on Sunday, rescue workers got lost and had to ask for help.
"They actually waved at us and asked us where 256 Jordan Hills Drive was," said Karen Coffee, who is new to the neighborhood and could not help.
The incident left Coffee with reservations.
"They wouldn't be able to find us for any medical emergency or fire," Coffee said.
The rescue workers eventually found the right house, but neighbors have learned that many of their addresses are listed incorrectly on 911 computers.
County officials suspect the mixup happened a few years ago when the houses were renumbered. Residents were told the renumbering would make it easier for emergeny crews to find them. Instead, it has created a lot of confusion.
So far, the county has found and fixed five inaccurate listings in the Jordan Hills neighborhood, but officials say homeowners can also do their part to help.
"We have our mailbox over there on the other side of the street. We don't have our driveway marked with our street number. They went through and found a lot of that in our neighborhood, and a lot of that in Chatham County," homeowner Jean Royer said.
If you are worried about your listing, you can call the County planning department. If it is wrong, the county pomises to have it fixed within 24 hours.