Two years after Dunwoody signed on with the Chattahoochee River 911 Authority, or ChatComm, the service has not completed the computerized dispatch system Dunwoody city officials want for fire and EMS calls.

That upsets some Dunwoody City Council members.

“I’m very frustrated by the whole situation being pushed down the road over and over again,” said City Councilman John Heneghan.

Former City Councilman Danny Ross told the current council members that they needed to call a meeting of top officials to hash out the troubles. “It’s time for you to take action,” he said.

Dunwoody Mayor Mike Davis agreed to meet with ChatComm leaders to try to work out a solution to the continuing delays in installing a “CAD- to-CAD” system to more quickly handle Dunwoody’s fire and emergency medical calls, which now are routed to DeKalb dispatchers.

Over the past two years, Dunwoody staff members have regularly reported to the council that the issue was nearly resolved. A year ago, City Manager Warren Hutmacher told the council “we’ve gotten past all the hurdles.”

But on Oct. 28, Kimberly Greer, assistant to the city manager, reported problems continue. The latest? The computer programming was done, but ChatComm’s board wanted more training time for its dispatchers.

Sandy Springs City Attorney Wendell Willard, a member of the ChatComm board, said delays have been over technical issues. “There’s a fear that they lose could lose somebody in the transfer,” he said. “If you transfer and the call gets dropped, then what do you do?”

Dunwoody signed on with ChatComm, an emergency dispatch service owned by Sandy Springs and Johns Creek, in 2011. Dunwoody city officials have asked ChatComm to install the CAD-to-CAD system to provide a seamless link between ChatComm and DeKalb County dispatchers for fire and medical emergency calls. The system doesn’t involve police calls, which make up 90 percent of Dunwoody’s emergency calls, city officials said.

“I feel like, somehow, we’ve got to get this relationship straightened out,” Dunwoody Councilwoman Lynn Deutsch said. “I’m concerned about the delays. But I’m really concerned about the future, too. I’m really concerned that they don’t value us as a customer.”

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.