Posted by Terry Alexander - email
NEW KENT, VA (WWBT) - New Kent county is updating its 911 mapping system. The goal is to improve the county's ability to respond to citizens during emergencies. Starting next week, two staff members will be out verifying addresses.
Those conducting the field inventory will have to take photographs of businesses and homes. County leaders say residents should not be alarmed.
"We're going to send a crew out to field verify every address in the county - commercial (and) residential" said Matt Forbes, GIS Coordinator. "They'll be taking pictures with a GPS camera of the addresses so we know where the structure is and where the access point for that structure is."
Forbes says, most pictures will be taken from the right of way but if staff can't see the structure from there, they'll have to go on to residents property.
The 911 mapping system serves as a guide for rescue workers who need to respond to a home or business during an emergency.
"It helps us a lot with getting officers to the address they need to get to as soon as possible, giving directions and with the new subdivisions we're getting and streets it's a big help," said 911 dispatcher Karen Johnson.
If the map doesn't match up with an address dispatchers use other methods to get responders to the right location.
"What we try to do is get a description of the residence. We try to keep the person on the phone while you got an officer or rescue responding you can say do you see this or do you not," said Johnson.
County leaders say the address verification portion of the project will last several weeks. Crews will have badges and also be driving a silver 2002 Ford Escape.