Dispatchers at the Coweta County 911 center have been having trouble hearing some of the calls that come in, making it challenging to respond to possible emergencies.
The calls, dispatchers say, are coming in with low volume, static or echoes.
Jay Jones, Coweta’s emergency management and 911 director, said this is a complicated issue that has been going on for more than a year, and they want to resolve this immediately before it leads to a life-threatening situation.
Jones said the problem has been going on since April 2016 when the county signed on with a new telephone system, discontinuing their services with Motorola.
The center received more than 230,000 calls last year, and in the last six months, more than 350 calls had issues of low volume, static or echo sounds.
“Sometimes they may be able to transfer the call to another dispatcher to see if that rectifies the problem,” Jones said. “Sometimes the callers have actually hung up and we’ve tried to call them back.
“However, we’re not wanting it to get to that point there is a call that is bad enough where we weren’t able to provide the services that they need,” Jones said. “Someone dies or causes more bodily harm or damage is done to property because of something that we weren’t able to hear from that caller.”
Jones said they’ve been in contact with both Motorola and AT&T to get the issues fixed.
“We’ve had meetings with Motorola and AT&T, and both have finger pointed at each other,” he said.
County commissioners and the county attorney are heavily involved to resolve this issue immediately.
“That’s why we’ve moved to the next level seeing what can we do legally to get the companies to provide us what we’re paying for,” he said.
11Alive has reached out to both AT&T and Motorolla for a response.
Motorola responded: Motorola Solutions technicians have been onsite to test Coweta County’s 911 system and make updates for improved performance. The system has many components and Motorola Solutions works with county providers to determine root causes and solutions, regardless of where issues originate. Motorola Solutions is committed to working with Coweta County and all vendors involved to ensure the 911 system works as designed for first responders and the people they protect
AT&T said, “We are continuing to work with Coweta County and Motorola to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.”