Monroe Rep. and 911 dispatcher hopes to fix misdirected calls

HARTFORD — The new top House Republican on the Connecticut General Assembly's Public Safety Committee is hoping to draw attention to the issue of misdirected 911 emergency calls from cellphone users.

Monroe Rep. J.P. Sredzinski is also a public safety dispatch supervisor in Stratford.

"There are plenty of times in calls that I`ve personally been on where the person is in dire need of help and they don`t know exactly where they are," said Sredzinski

"You know exactly where you are when you get to an Uber app or to a pizza app. They know where you are. It's just a matter of hooking that into the public network and trying to figure that out."

Sredzinski has proposed legislation requiring 911 calls to be routed to the nearest public safety answering point. While he's uncertain whether a new law is absolutely necessary, Sredzinski says he wants to bring the issue to light.

Sredzinski says most calls are easily rerouted to the correct dispatch center. Others become tricky when the person isn't sure where he or she is located.

"There's nothing more frustrating when you hear someone having a medical emergency that needs an ambulance right away and they can`t tell you where they are," said Sredzinski

Federal authorities estimate 70 percent of 911 calls nationally are placed from wireless phones. Since they're mobile, they're not associated with a fixed address.

"Keeping the residents of the state of Connecticut safe is our utmost priority, and I believe that this legislation will help us do that."