Washington County upgrading emergency response capabilities


HAGERTSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — The proliferation of mobile phones has presented challenges for emergency responders across the country but Washington County, Maryland hopes to be ahead of the curve to address them.

Unlike landlines which give dispatchers exact, fixed locations for 911 calls, cellular phones can easily migrate from a fixed address. But new computer software can now help responders track the exact location from where even a mobile call is placed.

“Nothing is more important than the correct address,” says David Hays, head of county emergency services. “We need the technology to be precise with an address as quickly as possible.”

Hays explained responders can often be confused with a Church Street address as being “North Church” or “South Church,” for example and often a jurisdiction or neighboring jurisdiction may have duplicative street names.

“These are some of the subtle distinctions that make an important difference in responding to a call,” says Hays.

Just this week Funkstown town council met to address these very issues hoping to make things as uncomplicated as possible for emergency responders.

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