E-911: Addresses must be filed

Published 8:51 pm Thursday, March 5, 2009

In a time of emergency, a quick response is crucial.

To make sure that help arrives as quickly as possible, Covington County E-911 is asking residents — especially new homeowners and those who have recently moved — to make sure their correct physical addresses are on file with the department.

“We’ve come to realize through various ways — namely 911 calls — that we don’t have people’s right information on file,” said Jeremie Schaffer, assistant E-911 director. “For some reason, it may be they have moved or built a new house, we don’t have their right address on file. We don’t have a correct contact number or maybe their medical information isn’t right.

“We want that information to be as correct and up-to-date as possible,” she said. “When someone calls, it’s an emergency and we need to have as much information to give emergency personnel as possible.”

Schaffer said when the new E-911 system was installed, workers went door-to-door “handing out yellow cards” with new 911 addresses.

“Since then, things have changed — people have moved, built new homes, that sort of thing,” she said. “The biggest problem we have is the mobile home parks in the county. There’s 25 give or take of them. There people are moving in and out and moving new homes in and others out.”

Schaffer said residents are asked to provide a their physical address, a description of the home — including landmarks such as carports and fencing — as well as a telephone number, and at their discretion, if anyone in the home suffers medical problems.

“We take all that information and load it into our database,” she said. “The reason being is, say someone calls in and can’t talk, and we can tell that someone in the home is suffering from diabetes or heart disease — our dispatchers will know and it helps medical personnel prepare when going into a home.

“All that information, once given to us, is confidential,” she said. “We use it to provide the best emergency services possible, as quickly as possible.”

To confirm or update personal E-911 information, call 334-427-4911 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. through 5 p.m.

“It doesn’t matter where you live — in the county, in Andalusia, Babbie, wherever — we need to make sure your information is correct,” Schaffer said.