Pa. county first responders say GPS sometimes leads to wrong address

One fire chief said the new system gives wrong directions for about one call per month

By News Staff

YORK COUNTY, Pa. — First responders in a Pennsylvania county say recently implemented GPS tools sometimes lead fire and EMS crews to the wrong address.

The location tools are now being used by most of the fire companies in York County, according to WHTM, and East Prospect Fire Chief Jerry Hanson said the system gives his crews inaccurate directions about once per month.

“In the borough, there are things like Cherry Street. Well, there is a Cherry Street here and a Cherry Street there, and it can get pretty confusing,” Hanson said.

Sometimes the mailing addresses provided to dispatchers don’t line up with what is recognized by the GPS, WHTM reported.

EMS providers also reported having the same issue, and many fire and EMS services are staffed by volunteers who are not familiar with the area and depend on mapping tools, Hanson added.

“The object here … is to get us to the scene quicker, but if it starts us off in the wrong direction, that’s longer it takes to give people the help that person needs,” the chief said.

The county hired a consultant in August who will work in the 911 center to address what first responders said is a disconnect between dispatchers and fire/EMS providers. It was not reported whether county officials have specifically addressed the GPS concerns.

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