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Officials: Wilson 911 Procedure "Disappointing"

Posted at 7:32 PM, May 12, 2016
The head of the Tennessee Emergency Communications Board calls the transfer process used by Wilson County 911 "disappointing."

Over the last month NewsChannel 5 has obtained at least a dozen phone calls from Wilson County 911 that appear to show an alarming pattern, caller after caller being transferred and forced to repeat vital information in an emergency.

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"I believe that the person on the other end of the phone when they're having an emergency they really don't want to repeat that information," says Curtis Sutton, the executive director of the Tennessee Emergency Communications Board.

Every year approximately 25,000 calls are made to the 911 call center in Wilson County. Of the 94 counties in Tennessee using 911 they are the only ones where calls are not routed directly to a dispatcher.

He says calls obtained by NewsChannel 5 showing some callers being transferred up to three times, raises concerns.

"I would not expect to be transferred multiple times.  I understand the stories you ran the last few days showed those instances and I hope that would not occur," he added.

But Wilson County  is operating in accordance with state law - the decision to run the 911 system this way is a local not state decision.

"I’m always disappointed when we have folks that don’t feel that the 911 system is reliable. I do feel Tennessee has the best 911 system in the country and we have done a lot to ensure that."