Originally created 08/06/02

911 dispatch unfamiliar with Augusta

I'm concerned for how persons in the Augusta 911 dispatch system are trained for their jobs. I have no knowledge of how this is accomplished, but I do know that more than one person in the dispatch room on the afternoon of July 6 had no knowledge of the location of the Augusta Canal bike-way.

My wife and I were biking on the bike-way when she sustained a somewhat serious cardiac problem that required my calling 911. When I gave our location on the canal to the dispatcher, she had no knowledge of the Augusta Canal, nor did two or three other people in the room.

After approximately 10 long minutes of giving explicit directions, another person in the office came to the phone and appeared to know of our location. He did dispatch an ambulance and the outcome was positive, for which I am very grateful.

My criticism is not of the persons in the office, but for their obvious lack of orientation and training. After all, isn't the Augusta Canal possibly the most enduring landmark in the city? I envision a 911 office as a place with a large map on the wall and persons who are schooled in the prominent features and directional orientations of the map.

I write in hopes of improving the training process, not to criticize the person.

Ron Jackson, Evans, Ga.

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