GPS Didn’t ID Florida Site in an Emergency

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December 31, 2008 by   - () Leave a Comment

Paul Miller has been spending his winters in North Fort Myers, Fla., for decades.
"A lot better than up North where it's 20 below zero, " said the part-time Sandusky, Ohio, resident.
But last spring tragedy struck in his piece of paradise when his wife, Mary Ellen, started having complications from surgery, according to WINK News, Fort Myers.
When Miller called 9-1-1, he said the dispatcher made a critical mistake. "She wouldn't let me give directions."
In the 9-1-1 tape, the dispatcher is heard interrupting Miller's attempt to give directions. Mary Ellen Miller died by the time the ambulance arrived at the hospital.
Lee County EMS told the TV station’s "Call For Action" that the dispatcher assumed the address would appear on GPS, but it didn't.
Hundreds of addresses in RV and trailer parks never showed on the county's mapping system, until the problem was brought to their attention by "Call For Action."
"We've identified and we've completed about 21 parks and we have 21 more to go so we're coming along," said Matt Rechkemmer, Lee County 911 program manager.
The county worked with parks to get them mapped and put into the system.
"Now we have the ability to dig deeper into the parks, see the park and be able to see the layout of the park from dispatch," said Rechkemmer.
Lee County Public Safety said that residents of RV and trailer parks should familiarize themselves with both their street name and their lot number and give that information to dispatchers when calling 9-1-1.

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