Can’t reach 911? It may not be staff, but the county is still hiring more operators | criminality


Within a week at the end of June, two women called 911 to report emergencies. But neither has contacted an operator.

“Basically it was a Thursday morning, I was on my way to work on [S.C.] 544, ”said Tracy Mills, who was heading towards Socastee. “I noticed a man face down on the concrete. Honestly, I thought he was dead.

She called 911. Twice.

“I hung up when they didn’t answer and tried to call back again,” Mills said. “I tried to call back, it lasted 10 seconds, 11 seconds and again they didn’t respond.”

Several days earlier, Wanda Hughes was heading from North Myrtle Beach to her home in Conway when she and her husband saw a man lying on the side of the Sea Mountain Highway.

She called 911 and stayed on the line for several minutes, never connecting. She also called the Highway Patrol * HP line and also did not connect to that messaging system. She tried 911 again without success.

“I was aggravated,” said Hughes. “I was nervous at first because you don’t see it like that. I didn’t know the man’s condition because he could barely speak. I did not know what to do. When you call a doctor’s office, the first message you get is if it’s an emergency, hang up and call 911. Well, never mind.

None of the women received a booster.

However, the county never received a recording of their calls, meaning their phone calls never made it to the county’s 911 call center, and staff issues were not to blame for these situations. .

A tower in downtown Conway is sandwiched between the town’s water tower and the Horry County government building complex, including the 911 operations center, on Thursday, August 5, 2021. Photo by Janet Morgan/[email protected]

Instead, county officials say there are other tech issues that can prevent calls from going through.

On July 8, Mills again called 911 on several occasions to report a truck that had turned on SC 31. Phone records showed that her phone on the various calls rang for 12 seconds, 15 seconds and 20 seconds, but she could not attach the message. This time, however, she received a callback from a 911 operator.


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