Brazos County 911 is asking rural residents to submit specific property information in order to reduce response time in an emergency.
Residents living in rural areas often have complex barriers and / or long walkways.
Captain Rick Wagner, of the District 2 Volunteer Fire Department, says precious time can be wasted when first responders attempt to gain access to the property. He remembers responding to a grass fire last year.
âI watched a fire burn and I had to get out, buy some tools, take the door hinges apart and open the door so we could go through,â Wagner said.
Staff from District 2 VFD met with Brazos County 911 to develop a solution.
Lauren Blackburn, Associate Director, created an online form where citizens can enter information such as door codes, property layout and other emergency contact information.
âThese are all things we ask for every fire and medical call that is in the rural area anyway. It gives them the ability to give us all of that information up front, so when we get a call to 911 we don’t have to ask for it all and record it in the call notes, âBlackburn said. .
Blackburn says any Brazos County resident can complete the form which can be found online at info.bc911.org.
Brazos County District 2 Volunteer Fire Department Press Release:
In an emergency, every second can be the difference between life and loss. When first responders arrive at a property, precious time is often wasted trying to actually access the property, especially in rural areas where many residents have gates and long, complex walkways. Brazos County District 2 Volunteer Fire Department, Brazos County 911, and Brazos County 2 Commissioner Russ Ford are urging Brazos County property owners to help reduce response time by logging in at https://info.bc911.org/ and providing step-by-step instructions for first responders to access their property once they have arrived.
The Brazos County District 2 Volunteer Fire Department noted that responding to emergencies in rural areas presents unique challenges that first responders do not face within city limits. If the reporting party does not provide a door code or specific instructions once first responders have entered the property, first responders are often forced to cut locks, remove doors or even be confronted with pitchforks in the driveway while trying to locate the incident. .
Although some residents have already called dispatch to provide this valuable access information, many residents are unaware that this is an option. The additional access information was also not communicated effectively to firefighters and medics in the county area who do not have the vehicle computer systems used by city departments.
District 2 VFD staff recently met with Laura Blackburn, Associate Director of the Brazos County 911 system, to develop a solution. Homeowners can now enter access information such as door codes, property layout and other emergency contact information on a secure BC911 website. Blackburn has also developed a process that takes access information and automatically uploads it to the dispatch system when a call is generated. Automation frees up dispatcher’s time to answer calls and eliminates the need for follow-up calls from first responders for access codes and other relevant details. District 2 VFD and BC911 have performed beta testing to ensure that the new systems and procedures operate seamlessly, while ensuring the security of property information.
Commissioner Ford praised the solution developed by BC911 and VFD District 2 staff, noting that it will benefit volunteer fire departments throughout the county.
Commissioner Ford wants all residents of Brazos County to be made aware of the importance of uploading their relevant information to the website before an emergency occurs. When seconds count, first responders with the information can mean the difference between life and loss.