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Indian Valley Record
Greenville, California
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June 5, 2013     Indian Valley Record
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June 5, 2013
 

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Indian Valley Record Wednesday, June 5, 2013 3A Wireless phones can pose challenges for 911 dispatchers Dan McDonald Managing Editor drncdonald@plu rnasnews.com In case of emergency, call 911. That phrase is etched in people's minds at an early age. Callers take for granted that their call will be answered in seconds and that help will arrive in minutes. Usually emergency responders do arrive in minutes. But the process of dispatching them is not that simple-- atieast not as simple as it used to be. "Prior to wireless phones, when someone called 911 they were calling from a land line," said Plumas County Deputy Administrative Sheriff Mike Grant. "You had to have a physical address to have a phone." That address would allow 911 dispatchers to quickly point emergency responders in the right direction, even if the caller was disoriented and couldn't provide the address. The introduction of cellphones made the dispatchers' job more complicated. Emergency personnel had to rely on the callers -- who were often distressed -- to accurately provide their location. According to recent statistics, 70 percent of calls to 911 are from wireless phones. In Plumas County, 5,500 land lines have been dropped since 2007. Most of those people now use wireless phones exclusively, Even though wireless phones produced since 2007 are equipped with global positioning systems, the GPS isn't as accurate in rural areas as it is in a city. If someone calls 911 on a pre-2007 cellphone, it can pose a challenge for 911 dispatchers and emergency responders-- especially if the call gets cut off. "In cities there are hundreds of Tips for 911 calling People making a 911 call from a wireless phone should remember the following: --Tell the emergency operator the location of the emergency right away. --Provide the operator with your wireless phone number, so if the call gets disconnected, the emergency operator can call you back. --If your wireless phone is not "initialized" (meaning you don't have a contract with a wireless service provider) you must call the 911 operator back if you get cut off. The operator will not have your phone number and can't contact you. --Don't program.your phone to automatically dial 911 when one button, such as the "9" key, is pressed. --If your wireless phone came pre-programmed with the auto-dial 911 feature already turned on, turn it off. Consult your user manual for instructions. --Lock your keypad when you're not using your phone to prevent accidental 911 calls. --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. cell towers, so it is easy to come up with a good location of a call," Grant said. "In rural areas it doesn't work well. There might be one tower or maybe two." Sometimes the only information dispatchers have is the approximate distance the caller was from the nearest tower. Dispatchers can tell which side of the tower the call came from, but that might only narrow the location to a 30-square-mile area -- oftentimes the area is much larger. Ira 911 caller using a wireless hangs up or gets cut off before a dispatcher can confirm his or her location, finding that person can be challenging. Dispatchers at the sheriff's office or California Highway Patrol will call the number back if they have it in an attempt to "pin" the caller's location. But even that can leave a wide margin of error. Responding to every 911 call Sheriff's Dispatch Supervisor Becky Grant said every 911 call that gets cut offgets a follow-up from an officer or dispatcher. "Even if the caller said it was an accident or a pocket-dial, our policy is to check them out," she said. "We've had some very valid (dropped) calls that we responded to and checked them out, and thank God we did. Not all agencies do this. I'm glad that we are able to, at this point at least." She said some victims of domestic violence will deny placing a 911 call. But checking up on every call can be time-consuming. Becky Grant said dispatchers usually have about 30 seconds to determine which emergency responders should be notified. If they aren't exactly sure where the call came from, they might send the wrong fire department, for example, wasting time and resources. She said some accidental 911 callers are annoyed when they get a follow-up call. Many of the callers simply sat on their phone, prompting the automatic call. She said more people are using cheap "throw-away" phones that can be purchased at many stores. These phones are not "initialized," meaning the user doesn't have a contract for service with a wireless provider. If someone using a throw-away phone gets disconnected during a 911 call, the dispatcher will not have the phone number and can't call back. GPS Even though newer (phase-II) phones are equipped with a global-positioning chip, some users choose to deactivate the GPS. Doing that essentially turns a 2013 phone into an old (pre-2007) phase-I phone. "And tracking down someone with a phase-I phone can be like looking for a needle in a haystack," Mike Grant said. He encouraged people to not deactivate the GPS, and also to activate the "911 callback" feature if the phone has one. 911 promises Mike Grant said that the 911 system is more complicated than Heart K hi00:e from Maidu perspective offered All are welcome to take a hike on the Heart K Ranch in Genesee Valley on Saturday, June 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with Trina Cunninghamentitled "The Heart K Ranch from aMaidu perspective." Cunningham's ancestors founded the Davis Ranch (now part of Feather River Land Trust's Heart K Ranch), where she grew up, and her Mountain Maidu ancestors have inhabited Genesee Valley from the beginning of memory. Cunningham is a member of the Maidu Summit Consortium composed of nine Mountain Maidu groups, with a vision of site protection and stewardship throughout the Maidu homeland. The recently protected 900-acre Heart K Ranch in California's Genesee Valley is a Sierra Nevada treasure, boasting scenic mountain beauty and a rich historical and cultural past. It is perhaps the most species-diverse property in the Feather River Watershed, supporting 26 species of conservation concern. It is also of great importance to the local Mountain Maidu people. This unique interpretive hike is sponsored by the Feather River Land Trust to raise awareness about Maidu history, culture and unique relationship to the lands of the Feather River region. The Maidu Indians of Genesee Valley are a federally unrecognized tribe. During the Gold Rush, land reservation treaties were left unratified, leaving the Maidu landless and in danger of losing cultural knowledge and practices. The Feather River Land Trust is working with Cunningham and others to protect and promote Maidu access to land and to incorporate Maidu traditional ecological knowledge into stewardship and restoration activities on the Heart K Ranch. There is no charge for the hike. However, the land trust will be accepting donations to support the management of the Heart K Ranch and to compensate Cunningham for for 9 miles until you see the big red her time and expertise. The Feather barn on the left. Parking is River Land Trust is ff private, nonprofit organization founded by residents of the Feather River. region. Meet at the Heart K Ranch house at 10 a.m. and be sure to bring lunch and water. The Heart K Ranch is approximately 15 miles from the intersection of Highway 89 and A22 (aka the Taylorsville "T"). Follow A22 to Taylorsville (5 miles) and bear right onto Genesee Road available to the left of the ranch house. The ranch is located at 702 Beckwourth-Genesee Road in Taylorsville. .... @i! : .... !li!,ii i!!: : i iiiii  ;i  June is full of special occasions ... and we have Great Gift Ideas! Father's Day= Gifts for Dad Graduation: Gifts that last a lifetime Weddings: Heirloom treasures Babies: Special keepsakes - Complimentary Gift-wrap - Open: Mon-Sat 10:30-5:30 * Sun 11-4 Hwy 89, Crescent Mills * 530-284-6016 Need help REPLACING or REPAIRING: DOORS TRIM WINDOWS PLUMBING ROOFING ELECTRICAL We do Insurance-related repairs If it's something we can't fix, we'll find somebody who can. CONSTRUCTION lllNC Ir 11184 m Gerteral Building Contractor Calif. Lic. #453927 (530) 283-2035 Richard K. Stockton, CLU ChiC, Agent Insurance Lic. #0868653 Providing Insurance & Financial Services 65 W. Main St., Quincy, CA 95971 (530) 283-0565 Fax (530) 283-5143 www.richardstockton,us Please stop by and say, "Hi!" I'm looking forward to serving your needs for insurance and financial services. Like a good neighbor, S; .e Farm is there/ CALL ME TODAY. 00StateFarm ever because calls are coming from more and more systems that promise users instant emergency response, Some of the examples are OnStar in cars, LifeAlert at home, personal panic buttons and roadside assistance. These calls go to call centers and must travel through various emergency service gateways before reaching a local 911 dispatcher. , As a result, dispatchers have been adapting to new technology. Their 30-second window for making a decision is now filled with more tasks. It's a long way from the days when a caller's home phone number and address would appear on a screen, Mike Grant also encouraged people using land lines to make sure their local carrier lists their correct address. He said the address should match the one on the house so emergency responders can easily find the right place. Many 911 dispatch centers in cities are set up to receive texts and video. Plumas County doesn't have that capability yet. But it will eventually. Summer is a great time to catch up on all the books you haven't been able to get to! Being able to see comfortably is a must. Our trusted eye professionals provide excellent patient care and quality eyewear that makes reading fun again! www.fridenoptometry.com -,,, FRIDEN OPTOMETRY -  Jonathan Friden, O.D. 68 Central Ave. Quincy 283-2020 Complete vision and eye care, Optometrists and Ophthalmologists on staff, Vision and Eye examinations, treatment of eye disease, cataract surgery, foreign body removal, threshold visual field analysis, contact lenses, glasses (large selection ,pf inexpensive to designer eyewear), low vision aids for the visually impaired, and vision therapy for learning related vision problems. I Join Young's Market on Sat., June 15th for Taylorswlle Pmneer Days! BBQRib Cook-off, Live Music & Tons of Awesome Drawing Prizes. This is one small town party you won't want to miss! 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