Calcutta and Glenmoor VFD advise using emergency number

CALCUTTA – According to Calcutta Assistant Fire Chief Dave McCoy, St. Clair Township residents can get a quicker response time from the Calcutta and Glenmoor volunteer fire departments by calling the departments’ emergency numbers rather than dialing 911.

He emphasized it was still acceptable for residents to call 911 but warned that doing so could delay the departments’ response by 5 to 12 minutes.

Presenting the Calcutta department’s yearly report to St. Clair Township trustees on Tuesday, McCoy said although both his department and Glenmoor were “still on board” with the county 911 system, both prefer that residents use each department’s respective emergency numbers.

“We still prefer they use the number to dial direct to the emergency fire because of the delay that’s still involved with the 911 (system),” said McCoy. “You’ve got a 5-12 minute delay that still happens in the time the 911 center gets the call and it’s relayed to our dispatch and our tone out.

“We’re not saying don’t use 911. If that’s all you’ve got, absolutely. It does work, there’s just a delay there and they’re working on it.”

McCoy explained the 911 system which both township fire departments use is managed by the county. The system is made up five public safety answering points or PSAPs which are essentially call centers set up for answering a designated area’s emergency calls.

The Calcutta and Glenmoor departments PSAP is located at the East Liverpool City Police Department, according to McCoy.

When an emergency call for either department comes in, the dispatchers at the East Liverpool PSAP must then call each fire departments dispatch and relay the message. This process adds time to the departments response time, said McCoy.

If dispatchers at the East Liverpool PSAP are already dealing with another emergency call, they are forced to choose which call takes priority thereby potentially further delaying emergency calls to the township’s fire departments, said the assistant chief.

McCoy advised that residents keep each department’s emergency number posted somewhere in their homes. He noted the Calcutta department still has stickers with the department’s emergency number on them and township residents can stop by the station and get them for free any Monday night.

The Calcutta Volunteer Fire Department emergency number is 330-386-5311. The Glenmoor Fire Department emergency number is 330-385-5627.