Dispatcher Fails To Relay Correct Directions To Deputy
LABELLE, FL. -- Ever wonder why it may take a Hendry deputy, EMS, or the fire department longer than you imagine to come to a location for assistance? The problem may lie in ill trained dispatchers who are not relaying simple but critical address directions to the the road officers, EMS and fire personnel.
In what may be an ongoing problem, Hendry County Sheriff dispatchers seemingly do not relay complete directions from citizen complaint calls. Monday afternoon, a brush fire was spotted in the field behind the Port LaBelle Inn and the Sheriff's dispatcher was notified that the specific location was the "northwest corner of Birchwood and State Road 80." The fire location was additionally described to the dispatcher as the "old golf course" behind the Port LaBelle Inn.
A man and child passenger was reported illegally driving a four-wheel ATV in the field, catching the grass on fire. The man was seen taking his shirt off and beating the fire out.
Fortunately the fire was put out by the ATV driver, but unfortunately the Sheriff's dispatcher did not relay the correct direction on Birchwood so the hapless deputy was searching a mile south of the actual location.
Incidents like this happen routinely, as can be heard on a scanning radio tuned to the Sheriff's dispatch frequency, where emergency personnel can't find the location because dispatcher's don't give complete information, but instead apparently summarize complainant's direction leaving out critical directional information.