Commentary

Quick guidebook to making a 911 call

We a re ble ssed w it h a network of well-manned and well-equipped volunteer fire departments in Milam County.

Last year we watched as communities such as Bastrop burned out of control while experiencing several close calls here as well.

The recent rains have relieved some of the tensions and the burn ban has been lifted, at least for now.

Let’s review the procedure for reporting an emergency.

What do you tell the operator (dispatcher) who answers? Do you know your 911 address? They’re going to ask you for it.

If you live in town that’s fairly easy, but if you’re in the country, do you know it?

What if it’s a grass fire and you aren’t at a specific address? Do you know the county road number and the nearest intersection?

Be sure you have the 911 address clearly posted on your driveway or mailbox for the firemen or emergency vehicle operator to see. The dispatcher you’re talking to may not be familiar with the area.

Currently there are two sets of 911 operators in Milam County, the Rockdale and Cameron Police Department dispatchers.

Depending on where you are you will get one or the other. if you’re on the edge of the county, or use a cell phone, you may very well get a dispatcher in another county.

In such a case it’s a good idea to say you’re in Milam County to avoid confusion.

There are eight volunteer fire departments in Milam County plus several from surrounding counties that frequently respond. If you get a different operator from the Rockdale or Cameron PDs, it would be helpful to ask them to transfer you one of those. (They will normally do this automatically when they find out the fire is in Milam County.) If for some reason they don’t, now you know what to do to help out.

There is a map on the Milam County web site (www.milamcounty.net) that depicts the jurisdictions of the eight county volunteer fire departments.

Be familiar with the one that services your property. If you’re not sure don’t wait, call the appropriate dispatcher or the fire department you think serves you.

If you don’t already know him or her, it’s a good idea to get to know your local fire chief anyway. Don’t call the sheriff’s department dispatcher. They don’t have Public Service Answering aren’t (PSAP) liked Rockdale and Cameron PDs, and may not always have fire department information you need.

When you call your fire department they may not always answer immediately because they are volunteer and are not always manned round the clock.

Your surest route to service is to call 911 in an emergency or as an alternative call the Rockdale PD dispatcher at 512-446-3436 or the Cameron PD dispatcher at 254-697-6574.

dbarkemeyer@milamcounty.net


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2012-02-09 digital edition



The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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