Dunwoody City Council members are asking for a report on the handling of a Jan. 8 emergency call made by a 79-year-old woman.

Former City Councilman Danny Ross played a tape recording of the call during the Jan. 27 council meeting which showed the woman was placed on hold during the transfer of the call from Chatcomm to DeKalb County dispatchers. Ross said it took about five minutes for the woman to be connected to an emergency medical and fire services dispatcher.

Dunwoody’s 911 calls are handled by Chatcomm, and fire and medical services are handled by DeKalb County and dispatched by DeKalb County dispatchers. Ross has said that the transfer of fire and medical calls from one agency to another should be handled by a computer-assisted dispatch system, or CAD, rather than the single-button transfer now used.

But Dunwoody has been unsuccessful in efforts to convince Chatcomm and DeKalb to connect with a CAD-to-CAD system and get the system operating. City officials now say the system should “go live” by the end of February.

Councilman John Heneghan asked city staff members to report to council why a police car was not dispatched to aid the woman before the call was transferred from Chatcomm to DeKalb County dispatchers. Henghan said he was “livid” police were not sent to what appeared to be a medical emergency.

“What we heard tonight was troubling…,” he said.

Meanwhile, Chatcomm is offering Dunwoody a chance to purchase a membership in the authority over the next five years. Dunwoody is a customer of the authority, which is owned by the cities of Sandy Springs and Johns Creek.

On Jan. 24, Dunwoody City Manager Warren Hutmacher gave members of City Council copies of a letter from Chatcomm chairman Wendell Willard that said Dunwoody could continue its current relationship with Chatcomm for $1.075 million a year for five years, its current compensation, or pay that amount plus an additional $1.75 million over five years, paid at a rate of $350,000 a year, to purchase a share in Chatcomm equal to 1/3 of the value of its capital investment.

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