by: Tom Regan Updated:
CARROLL COUNTY, Ga. - A special grand jury will be impaneled to investigate problems at the Carroll County 911 call center, Channel 2’s Tom Regan confirmed on Monday.
The investigation, which will be coordinated by Coweta Judicial Circuit District Attorney Pete Skandalakis, follows the death of a Temple man in which the 911 emergency response drew harsh criticism.
"This special grand jury is called for the purpose of a civil investigation. We will be looking at the system to see if it's best for Carroll County, are there improvements to be made and what should be done to make those improvements," Skandalakis said.
The family of 73-year-old Fred Langley believes that 911 dispatcher error is responsible for his death.
A dispatcher mistakenly sent paramedics to the wrong address following a call on June 23. Instead of being directed to Kathy Lane in Temple, the emergency workers were sent to a Kathy Lane in Carrollton -- nine miles away. The error resulted in a 10-minute delay.
Langley, who suffered a diabetic seizure, later died. A medical examiner told Channel 2 Action News that Langley had a heart condition, and could not conclude the delay contributed to his death.
Officials blamed the mistake on human error and fired the dispatcher involved. However, a county commissioner believes the problem is also the result of an inadequate system upgrade.
"Two and half years ago, we did transfer systems. I did my research at the time and I did not feel that it was something that could handle our call volumes," District 3 Commissioner Ashley Hendrix told Regan.
Hendrix said she requested the grand jury investigation to get an impartial assessment of the county's 911 system.
"I wanted an impartial body to give a recommendation to the board of commissioners to let us know, and remove politics from the situation," Hendrix said.