Firefighters Delayed with the Wrong Address

A mistake at Clay dispatch cost firefighters some valuable time during an early morning fire.

An address that was a number off, led firefighter’s miles in the wrong location.

Luckily, no one was hurt but firefighters say it is a reminder of how crucial every minute of the dispatch process is.

The 911 call came into clay dispatch at 6:28 this morning, but it was not until about 6:46 A.M that those firefighters arrived on scene.

“This morning when I got to work, the 911 dispatcher had told me there was a mistake. She had taken a 911 cell phone for a possible house fire,” says SJCFD dispatch director, Coni McCloughen.

An apparent miscommunication led dispatchers to send Harris Township fire to the 52-thousand block of currant road.

Instead, Penn Township fire should have been sent to the 56-thousand block of currant road which is about a four mile difference between the two locations.

McCloughen says, “Mistakes do happen and it's a very crucial mistake. Very thankful nobody was injured, thankful there were no pets, and the home was not destroyed.”

Harris Township fire Chief John Vance says once his department realized it was a bogus address, they called dispatch and Penn fire was called to the scene.

From that call, it took Penn Township three and a half minutes to get to the fire and Harris fire also assisted Penn fire at the scene.

Chief Smits says, “This is unusual, it's an unfortunate situation, but fortunately nothing serious occurred, but potentially it could have had a lot of implications, especially if we had a house with people trapped in it.”

Chief Smits says it is a frustrating situation and a reminder of how important every single minute is.

“Potentially 12, 13, 14, 15 minute difference, could mean difference between life and death, that's a big concern of mine,” says Chief Smits.

The homeowners have not been able to be reached for comment however dispatch says if the call had come from a landline, a computer could pinpoint the exact location.

Nowadays, people are using cell phones and addresses are not as easy to locate.

The director at Clay dispatch tells says they are going to take a look at training procedures so something like this does not happen again.

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