What To Do When Calling 9-1-1 From A Lake In Lakewood
West Pierce Fire & Rescue (WPFR) is ready to respond to emergencies on the water each and every day. One of the common problems encountered when responding to these types of emergencies is trying to get an accurate location and the closest access point to the incident.
Dispatchers often receive calls from a cell phone caller frantically trying to describe their location on the water by using landmarks they see nearby. Often times, the landmark will not allow the dispatcher to pinpoint their location. In this scenario, emergency responders are sent to a general location and attempt to locate the incident from there. This process takes valuable time and when there is an emergency, time is critical. In order to minimize response time, WPFR utilizes the Lake Addressing Program.
The Lake Addressing Program allows anyone, even non-resident boaters, to identify a location on the water or shoreline during an emergency by simply telling the 9-1-1 dispatcher the number located on the nearest dock. This allows for a fast and efficient emergency response to a known location, saving valuable time when it is needed most.
To be successful, the program requires a numbered sign be attached to each dock along the waterfront. The 9-1-1 dispatcher has the ability to cross-reference the dock number with a physical address and give emergency crews the location immediately. This program has been implemented on Gravelly Lake, American Lake and Lake Steilacoom in Lakewood.