Communication Kinks In Some Area Emergency Calls

Guymon Police Lieutenant Jason Bond
Guymon Police Lieutenant Jason Bond

Calling in an emergency near one area town is no guarantee you'll get a direct connection. Call 9-1-1 in Texas county and your emergency information could get caught up in a game of telephone.

That's because Guymon dispatchers have to transfer information to another dispatch center before rescuers can be reached outside the city. We're told passing calls and information can increase response times up to ten minutes. Guymon police also say emergency details can get muddled in the transfer.

Without a central dispatch center, even cell phone callers can get mixed up. It would be good for all the cell phones to go to one place, says Guymon dispatcher Laurie Drumm. Just because if they're in town, they go to county or OHP and they think they're talking to us and they're really not, she says.

What complicates matters for cell phone callers is dispatchers can't always pinpoint where those callers are. They have to ask callers for descriptions to help identify their surroundings since the dispatch computer software won't necessarily give a location. Guymon Police Lieutenant Jason Bond says that needs to change.

It needs to be improved, he says. We need the updated software basically the enhanced 9-1-1 is what we're needing right now, says Bond.