Spotty emergency dispatch in Edgewood

This is a follow-up letter to my “Confused emergency dispatch for Edgewood” letter in the May 3-9 issue of The Independent. The next week my neighbor, Marcia De Leon, detailed the inability of the 911 dispatcher to locate her residence 5 years ago on “Moriarty Road,” probably because it was misspelled in the CAD system (“Computer Aided Dispatch”). Since then I’ve spoken to other Edgewood residents who have had difficulties within the past two years with the 911 system locating their emergencies because their road was not in the CAD system (“Prairie Moon”) or the dispatcher locate Highway 333 (Old Route 66) where a semi-trailer rig was high centered across the highway at night.

After the town of Edgewood paved the east end of Moriarty Road in the summer of 2012, I walked into the Santa Fe County Rural Addressing Department in Santa Fe and asked for a white-on-red address number to identify my residence in case of an emergency. It appeared at my driveway at #24 Moriarty Road within three weeks. I mistakenly assumed I was in the 911 emergency response system!

Recently I spoke by phone with the supervisor of the Santa Fe County Regional Emergency Communications Center in Santa Fe who informed me that “We do have maps in the dispatch center!” but failed to address the fact that the dispatcher on duty during my April 10 fire call did not know how to access them. They then asked me do a test run to see if my residence was now in the system by having me call “911.” It worked fine this time and they told me “Well, we’ve solved your problem!” I thanked the supervisor for their help resolving my problem and I responded “But we still don’t know how many other residences in Edgewood are not in the CAD system.”

Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to ask why Santa Fe Co dispatch, after notifying the Santa Fe County Fire Department here in Edgewood during my fire on April 10, notified the New Mexico State Police in Albuquerque, instead of notifying the Edgewood Police Department, the Santa Fe County Sheriff, or the N.M. State Police sub-station in Edgewood.

I went up to Rural Addressing again several weeks ago. I asked one of the GIS analysts (Geographic Information Systems), “When the infill annexation in Edgewood became official in April of 2018, how were calls from the infill-areas addressed, so they could be referred to the Edgewood Police Department rather than Santa Fe County Sheriff as before?” He was aware of the annexation judgement by the courts in 2018, but had no idea how this issue was addressed and didn’t seem to know who might know.

Whether the Edgewood Police Department, or the Santa Fe County Sheriff, or no one responded to an emergency call in our neighborhood had been an issue for decades, which is now probably resolved by correctly spelling “Moriarty” in the CAD system. However, the nature of other mistakes in the Santa Fe County dispatch center is still not clear when it comes to emergency coverage in Edgewood.

As a former EMS Medical Director, I understand how important it is to quickly and accurately identify where all potential calls may originate in the coverage area and how to determine what an appropriate response may be before an emergency occurs. Ideally, an emergency response bureaucracy is vertically integrated for the entire service area so everyone in the system can contribute to the solution and help address systemic issues when they arise.

I feel the Edgewood area would benefit from having our own regional emergency dispatch center that would serve everyone in Edgewood, including our neighbors north to Bernalillo County, northeastern Torrance County and City of Moriarty.

If residents of Edgewood that live in Santa Fe County have any doubt whether they are accurately identified in the E-911 system in the Santa Fe County CAD system, they should call the control room’s non-emergency number 1-505-428-3700 to clarify their status. If “911” doesn’t work for your address in Edgewood or Santa Fe County in general, an alternate emergency number for 911 for Santa Fe County dispatch is 1-800-742-1144.

Christian Meuli, M.D., Edgewood

A note to a careless motorcyclist on N.M. 41

It took a few hours for my heart to restart today, but here goes:

Dear Mr./Ms. Motorcyclist:

You must have thought you were pretty badass traveling southbound on 41 between McIntosh and Estancia at about 10 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 20. Your bike definitely has some speed. You seemed fearless as you passed several vehicles while coming in my northbound lane.

I’ll bet you didn’t notice the look of fear on my face as I saw you heading toward the front of my car or as I tore off to the shoulder. You didn’t see the look of terror on the face of the fellow you pulled in front of when you whipped back into the southbound lane.

You didn’t see the imaginary headlines I did as I wondered exactly how that news story would read if you had been killed, or how your family was going to take the news that you were hit head on while riding your bike.

You didn’t think.

Every day, we hear about motorcycle crashes, many of them because other drivers aren’t paying attention. You are damned lucky that I WAS paying attention. Don’t be a jerk. Be responsible for yourself. Live a little longer.


One Frazzled Driver

(After pulling over to the shoulder, I spent a few minutes pulling tumbleweeds out of the grill of my car. Better than your body parts.)