Thursday, February 6, 2014

City of Dunwoody explains 911 call taken by Chatcomm and transferred to DeKalb.

In October 2011, the Chattahoochee River 911 Authority (ChatComm) began answering and dispatching Dunwoody’s 9-1-1 calls. Police service calls constitute approximately 90% of the City’s emergency call volume. Since the transition, the average amount of time needed to dispatch police calls has been cut in half, moving from an average of 4 minutes and 33 seconds down to an average of 2 minutes and 13 seconds.

DeKalb County continues to provide fire and emergency medical service to the City including the dispatching of those resources. Since the transition, calls requiring fire or emergency medical service have been transferred using the industry standard, one-button transfer. Fire and emergency medical service calls constitute approximately 10% of the City’s emergency call volume or roughly 10 calls per day. The average amount of time needed to transfer calls between the two centers is approximately 90 seconds.

To surpass the industry standard one-button transfer method and eliminate the associated transfer time, staff has been coordinating the development of a Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD)-to-CAD interface to connect ChatComm’s CAD system to DeKalb’s CAD system. Once completed, this interface will allow the call information for fire and emergency medical service calls to be electronically shared and eliminate the transfer time.

At the January 27th, Dunwoody City Council Meeting former Councilor Danny Ross played a 911 call where Chatcomm answered quickly but a fair amount of time passed before DeKalb 911 answered and we were told by Mr. Ross that the Dunwoody Police were not dispatched as the Council had believed was the case on all medical emergencies. At that time, I asked for a formal reply regarding this incident be provided to Council as we were under the assumption that Dunwoody PD indeed followed up on all Medical Calls.

The complete audio of the 911 call is available here and the public comment by Danny Ross is shown below and starts at the 29 minute mark.

Council received an email on Tuesday explaining the circumstances as outlined below and again in Chief Grogan's Memo.  Long story, short - a Dunwoody Police Supervisor called off the police presence on this medical call as DeKalb Fire was already rolling and was just a block away thereby assuring that DeKalb Fire would arrive first.  Policemen make life and death judgements everyday and this decision to defer to DeKalb Fire was made by a fully informed experienced officer with the responsibility to maximize safety within 13 square miles.   DeKalb Fire was a block away and we deferred to them to handle and I am satisfied with that answer.  We have also identified a Chatcomm error in the recording and this is being addressed with them for corrections and retraining as they pride themselves as being a Center of Excellence.

Email from Mr. Warren Hutmacher, City Manager
"Please review the attached information from Chief Grogan regarding the 911 call you heard at the last Council meeting.  Although the memo speaks for itself, I will point out a few things:

1.  Until the CAD to CAD is implemented there will always be a delay on medical and fire calls due to the call transfer from one 911 center to another 911 center.  There is nothing about this call that differs from our experience with the one button transfer since the cutover to ChatComm.  
2.  The ChatComm policy regarding starting Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) within 13 seconds of an attempt to transfer the call or 3 rings was not followed properly.  ChatComm will investigate that further and handle any personnel issues related to the incident.
3.  The caller was never placed on hold, but instead was able to hear when the call was put in the cue hold by DeKalb 911.  
4.  Dunwoody Police were dispatched as per the policy and current practice.  A Dunwoody Police Supervisor cancelled the call for Dunwoody PD based on their best judgment at the time.  The primary factor related to our cancellation of our response was that DeKalb Fire was already in route to the call with the appropriate personnel to handle the medical call.  
5.  DeKalb Fire and Rescue was very quick in their response to the scene."

Crier - Council angry over delayed 911 call, no police dispatch
Reporter - Dunwoody council member asks for report on emergency call placed on hold

The City of Dunwoody has taken on this complex CAD 2 CAD initiative as it is in the best interests of the community as it should provide a Gold Standard level of service that is not available in communities who continue to use the one button transfer method.  This project took a huge amount of cooperation and communication between various governments and computer vendors to work out the details.   Sometimes change happens slower than you would prefer when others are reluctant to change, therefore I am very pleased that we are in the final stages of this proposed project.  

The latest update provided to Council is very promising as there is a tentative to go live on March 1st if not before.


Bob Lundsten said...

If I read Chief Grogan's memo correctly, and contrary to what Councilman Ross said in his TV interview, even if the Dunwoody Police dispatched a police car to the scene, DeKalb EMS would have beaten them to the scene anyway.
I think Danny's comment on tape, that he thinks he (Warren) should be fired any way. speaks to the real issue. More than anything Danny does not like Warren.
His passion for getting Warren fired is clouding his message on CAD to CAD transfers.

TwoDogsTrucking said...

TheChatcom detour added 1:21 to that call.
The fire dispatcher processed & dispatched the call in 1:08 seconds.
Chatcom dispatched a police car at the 4 minute and 10 second mark of the call and the police cancelled themselves 26 seconcds later.
The fire department was on scene in 2 minutes and 1 second.

Chip said...

Danny's passion for getting Warren fired is well-placed. According to the Charter, there is no "half-way" disciplinary action that the Council may take against a non-performing City Manager. It's termination, only. That may be an unfortunate oversight in the Charter, but it you want to hold the City Manager accountable, threat of termination is the only tool in your arsenal.

Danny is upset because, in his opinion, Warren knowingly and consistently has supplied mis-information and made promises that were unkeepable during the entirety of this transfer process, without any serious oversight or action on the part of the Council other than to continue the "wait and see, wait and see" approach.

I, for another one, think our City Manager has done a disservice to our City, and if the only recourse for discipline is termination, he should suffer those consequences.

Paul Ryan Republican said...

This is what happens when you add layer of government upon government, you just inject more bureaucracy, just like how socialism works.

If we are going to be a city then we need to lead the way in a manner that reflects the conservative Republican virtues that the vast majority of us in Dunwoody are in possession of and use the institutions and services that the existing government didn't screw up too badly (like the EMTs, fire dept, and police) and use OUR tax revenue (which should always remain low) to support our own infrastructures - like fixing our decrepit roads and exert local control over our schools where we can ensure our children are not brainwashed with the Obama socialist libertard agenda.

Danny is so correct and my kind of gutsie guy. We should get rid of chatcom and just use Dekalb county again for all that, get rid of the city manager position and just pay a vender firm to handle those few tasks that are required of managing the city. Outsourcing is the way to go. We should outsource everything with an open contract, access their work, and if they don't their job, then say "hit the highway" Joe!

Paul Ryan Republican said...

The current administration tossed out the only two fistally responsible councilmen who espouse conservative values and you bloggers post that same youtube video over and over again that makes Danny look some raving lunatic and ridicule and exclude Adrian from everything, making her a virtual piranha.

We need to save Dunwoody and elect Danny or Adrian the mayor and kick out the current socialist regime!

Greg said...

Farmer Bob: Not trying to come after you, personally, but I do take pause at your opening comment. Whether Danny Ross likes or dislikes Warren Hutmacher can never be "the real issue." The "real issue" is the response time of Fire and EMT personnel in Dunwoody.

Folks in Dunwoody are often distracted by the personalities and emotional aspects of these issues. (Who doesn't like a good cat-fight, now-and-then!)

But, let's remember this is a serious issue, sometimes a matter of life-and-death.