‘911’ service urged by Princeton officials

21 February, 1992

‘911’ service urged by Princeton officials

Country criticized for dragging feet

By Patti Wieser
Staff Writer

Saying the lack of “911” service in Mercer County delayed a message to firefighters earlier this month, Princeton officials are pressing for the installation of the emergency number.

Princeton Fire Chief Joe Meyers said Tuesday that firefighters were delayed in reaching a Cherry Valley Road home in Princeton Township last week in a blaze that destroyed 70 percent of it. The owner had dialed “911” after discovering the fire.

Chief Meyers said he did not know exactly how much time elapsed before volunteer fire-fighters were notified, but that “every minute — every second really counts for something like that.”

A few years ago, firefighters were delayed when the owner of a Stuart Road residence called the emergency number during a fire that ravaged it.

Borough Councilman Mark Freda, the “911” municipal coordinator, described what happens when someone dials the three-digit number from Princeton.

“It rings and rings and rings, and then the operator picks up and tries to find the correct phone number,” Mr. Freda said. “Dialing 911 is the worst thing you could do right

The emergency number is standardized across the United States, except for a few places, including Mercer County.

A state law, which was implemented about two years ago, mandates that each county have “911” in place. Mr. Freda said little has happened over the last 12 to 18 months on installing the number because there was no county “911” coordinator. He said implementing the emergency number is a county responsibility.

“I just suggested that the county appoint county coordinator. Hopefully the county will take action soon, but we’re waiting anxiously.”

Added Mr. Meyers, “I’d like to see 911 go into effect in Mercer County.”

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