If calling 911 from a cell phone, can the responders locate you? Obviously a cell phone can be found as it can be used as a GPS, by Uber, and Find-a-Phone. Or are there any restrictions or settings that need to be activated?
Mike Chustz, public information officer for Baton Rouge Emergency Services, gives this slightly technical answer: "A wireless 9-1-1 call is delivered to the PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point) with the approximate location of the wireless caller based on the X,Y (longitude and latitude) coordinates determined by the system. The X,Y coordinates are an estimate and the actual location of the wireless 9-1-1 caller may not be exactly as indicated."
Simply put: Close enough.
Chustz also passes along these tips:
- Tell the emergency operator the location of the emergency right away.
- Provide the operator with your wireless phone number, in case the call gets disconnected.
- If you do not have a contract for service with a wireless service provider and your emergency call gets disconnected, you must call the emergency operator back because the operator does not have your telephone number.
- Refrain from programming your phone to automatically dial 911 with the press of one button, such as the "9" key. Unintentional wireless 911 calls, which often occur when auto-dial keys are inadvertently pressed, cause problems for emergency call centers.
- If your wireless phone came pre-programmed with the auto-dial 911 feature already turned on, turn this feature off.
- Consider creating a contact in your wireless phone's memory with the name "ICE" (In Case of Emergency), which lists the phone numbers of people you want to have notified in an emergency.
- Lock your keypad when you're not using your wireless phone to help prevent accidental calls to 911.
What happens now to Mickens Road?
Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome’s BTR plan proposed earlier this year included long-overdue and sorely needed road improvements for Mickens Road in north Baton Rouge. Now that the plan has failed to get Metro Council support is the Mickens Road project still under consideration by other means?
"Certainly this project is needed not only for traffic issues but also for a safety concern dealing with people walking in the roadway to get to other businesses and residential areas," says Fred Raiford, the city-parish transportation and drainage director.
"The area from Lanier Drive back to Hooper Road needs to be addressed. Widening the roadway and providing pedestrian access in this area is important. This project was estimated to be around $15 million and to do the project right it needs to be done at the same time.
"To provide pedestrian access would require piping in the ditches along the roadway which was estimated to be $3 million dollars. We do not have that funding available to accomplish this; plus, if and when we build the road it could possibly require removing the sidewalks if grades are not correct. In some places we will need to acquire rights of way.
"It is my hope we will try to present to the Council sometime next year a plan for them to consider and hopefully get the support needed. Unfortunately we are far behind on our infrastructure needs for this parish. That includes traffic improvements and pedestrian sidewalks and bike lanes."