By Capt. Thomas Cieslak/16th MP Bde. PAONovember 5, 2010
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - The Directorate of Emergency Services has installed a feature throughout Fort Bragg which will assist residents in the event of a life threatening emergency.
Twenty-eight, solar-powered, emergency call boxes have been placed throughout Fort Bragg, facilitating faster, accurate calls when time is a factor.
The phones are in red, white and blue boxes affixed to poles which have a blue light on top. They enable dispatchers to gain critical information about an emergency, resulting in faster response times by the Directorate of Emergency Services with the proper life saving personnel and equipment.
Once the emergency button on the box is pushed, the phone will auto-dial and connect the caller to the Integrated Incident Management Center's 911 dispatcher, allowing them to communicate details about an emergency and what help is needed.
The boxes are part of a pilot program designed to assess the way they are used and how often they are activated. If results from the program are positive, the next step will include expansion of the network of call boxes.
The emergency phones will also help reduce the number of false calls and incidents where help arrives, but the caller has departed. This will increase the readiness of Fort Bragg's first responders and prevent the unnecessary dispatch of police, fire and ambulance vehicles and personnel.
More information will be automatically sent to the 911 Center through the phones, eliminating the need for operators to rely on distressed callers to pinpoint their exact location and other pertinent facts about the scene.
The 911 call boxes throughout Fort Bragg will help those in or witnessing an emergency to make quick, accurate calls to receive the help they or others may need.
(Editor's note: Victoria Post, Department of Emergency Services, also contributed to the story.)