Wed., March 10, 2010 3:00pm (EST)

Six Years Later, McIntosh Ready For New 911 System
By Orlando Montoya
Updated: 4 years ago

DARIEN, Ga.  —  
McIntosh County administrator Luther Smart says the 911 Center has been "a long time coming."  (Photo Courtesy: Coolcaesar/Wikimedia Commons)
McIntosh County administrator Luther Smart says the 911 Center has been "a long time coming." (Photo Courtesy: Coolcaesar/Wikimedia Commons)
McIntosh County will become the last county on the East Coast to get a 911 system in a little over month's time.

But some residents aren't happy with how long and how expensive the project has been.

Residents have been paying an additional surcharge on their telephone bills for about six years to cover the costs for the nearly $2 million system.

Now, County Commissioners say unincorporated residents must buy a $20 reflective sign to help EMS crews locate their homes.

County Manager Luther Smart says the signs are required even though EMS vehicles will be equipped with GPS satellite location devices.

"We have a lot of dead areas out there in the county where GPS doesn't work all that well," Smart said.

County efforts were set back when a spring tornado destroyed a 911 center two years ago.

"You hate to say it, but the tornado was a blessing in disguise," Smart said. "Because the one that got destroyed was insured at replacement cost, while we were also able to obtain some FEMA monies at that particular time."

There were also political setbacks.

McIntosh is the coast's most rural county.

Its new 911 Center, jointly run with neighboring Long County, is now set to be online by early May.