MT. HOPE, WV (WVNS) – When it comes to an emergency, every second counts. That’s why some members of the Raleigh County Fire Association say they are concerned about the way dispatch calls are handled. According to them, it can take several minutes for crews to receive a call from dispatch after the initial emergency call was made.
Chris Hatcher, a member of the Beaver Volunteer Fire Department, said most of the members are volunteers and they just want to explain their concerns to the public.
“We have the 5-10 minute time delay depends on what’s going on and then we live at our houses, so the time we drive from our houses to the fire department that’s additional time delay just getting the fire truck out the doors. So, we’re looking at worst case scenario 15-20 minutes before we can even get wheels on the ground going to your house fire, car wreck, whatever the situation may be,” Hatcher said.
Jeff Johnson is the Deputy Fire Chief at Bradley-Prosperity Volunteer Fire Department. Johnson said he has a personal experience with the response time of dispatch when his house caught on fire.
“We notified the 9-1-1 center by several different ways. I know the business owner across the street from my house had called, my neighbor called at the same time I was calling on my fire department radio. That’s how the notification was made,” Johnson said. Johnson said it took more than five minutes from when the call was received to the time it was dispatched.
59 News reached out to the Raleigh County 9-1-1 Center. Communications Chief James Huggins said this is the first time the center is hearing about any complaints about the response time of dispatch. Huggins added during an emergency call, dispatchers are collecting information and sending it out to crews at the same time, per their policy.