Frederick County Officials Take Issue With Claims In Mailer

It says  several 911 calls to Emergency Communications not answered.


Frederick, Md (KM) A mailer which was received last week by some Frederick County residents was the topic of a news briefing on Monday at Winchester Hall. It said several 911 calls are going unanswered by the Emergency Communications Center. County Executive Jan Gardner said that’s “totally inaccurate.” “I want to assure all Frederick County residents that all calls to 911 for emergency assistance have been promptly answered in the past, are currently being answered and will be promptly answered into the future,” she said.

Also at the new briefing was Jack Markey, Director of the Division of Emergency Management, who also assured county residents who call 911. “No 911 calls like those portrayed on the mailer have occurred in Frederick County. The mailer goes on to make allegations that budget mismanagement and failure to invest in 911 services in Frederick County put the county at risk,” he said. “The objective facts tell a very different story.”

Markey said the Emergency Communications Center handled 93.033 calls during fiscal year 2018, which ended on June 30th. “Our average time  to answer for those 93,000 calls is four-seconds,” he said. “If you count all of the inbound calls to Frederick County , emergency or non-emergency, our time to answer is five-seconds.”

“Only one call during fiscal 2018, only one of 93,033 call,  took longer than the standard call processing time to answer,” he said. But that citizen received a return call within 15-seconds.

During the news briefing, Director Markey said County Executive Gardner has made investments in the Emergency Communications Center in money and personnel. “County Executive Gardner has been supportive to move to us toward a modern 911 system that will enable our call takers to not only know the number where the call is coming from, and not only the general location where the 911 call is coming from, but to be able to detect clusters of calls,” he says.

In statement, Gardner says she has invested $2.7-million more in the 911 center, and has added 19 new positions to the Emergency Communications Center.

Markey says the county will begin installing a next generation  911 system in 2019. “We continue to work with the County Executive and County Council to seek and obtain funding from the state 911 Trust Fund to make capital improvements, and plan for investments of local 911 fee and county tax revenue for operational improvements to insure efficient and effective service delivery,” he said.

“Our citizens can be confident that while staffing levels will continue to need to be increased to meet the service expectations of the county over time as we grow, we have a sound and capable team  in place to serve the county’s needs today,” says Gardner.

As she concluded her news briefing, Gardner introduced Phil Lambert, who oversees Frederick County’s 911 center.


By Kevin McManus