- Family Features
- Business Directory
- Gallery Of Homes
- Subscribe Now!
- Place A Classified Ad
- New! Digital e-Edition
WEMA defends response time
Jan 28, 2005 12:00 am
Wilson Emergency Management Agency officials have defended their response to a Mt. Juliet-area fire, which destroyed two homes and damaged a third.
A resident of one of the homes seemed to agree, saying he is unsure firefighters could have salvaged the two gutted structures.
"I'm not sure they had a chance to save them anyway," River Road resident Raymond Turner said of Wednesday's predawn fire.
A WEMA spokesperson said firefighters were on the scene of the blaze in six minutes despite a 911 call from a cell phone which had to be rerouted from the sheriff's department to the agency.
WEMA spokesman Adrian McNabb said records show the first call reporting the fire was logged at 2:34 a.m. but said "the line went dead" before it could be transferred to the agency by 911 operators.
A cell phone call was then placed at 2:38 a.m. reporting the fire which was fielded by a 911 operator, transferred to the sheriff's department and then transferred to WEMA, McNabb said.
He noted records showed firefighters arrived at the scene of the multi-home fire at 2:44 a.m., only six minutes after the blaze was reported.
The 911 cell phone call "hit a tower at the county line and was sent to Nashville" before being correctly routed to Wilson County's Emergency 911 office, McNabb said.
McNabb noted 911 cell phone calls have gone awry in the past not only in Wilson County but in other areas.
"It's something we deal with all the time," he said.
Turner described the fire as spreading "like an inferno" and had no complaints with WEMA firefighters, one of whom suffered minor injuries battling the blaze.
"They saved my house," he said. "I can't complain."
McNabb said the hurt firefighter sustained only minor injuries and was released after being treated at a local hospital.
Senior Staff Writer Brooks Franklin can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 14 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.