The Big Canoe Public Safety is dedicated to making sure our community is as secure as possible. Not surprisingly, the department receives calls dealing with all kinds of emergencies.
However, to ensure the fastest and most appropriate response, knowing when to call 911 rather than Public Safety can make all the difference, says Ricky Jordan, the Director of Public Safety.
“We’ve received calls for multiple medical emergencies that should have called 911,” says Jordan. “If someone calls us instead of 911, it could delay the arrival of responders. By calling 911, our officers can be reached by radio no matter where they are on the property.”
In a February Inside the Gates article, Ricky recommended calling Public Safety “any time anything looks out of place or out of the ordinary.” When there is an emergency – be it medical, fire or criminal – always call 911.
“If our guys are not in the station, 911 alerts us,” Ricky says. “911 also has operators who can coach someone through an emergency and give them pre-arrival instructions, such as how to deliver first aid.
Call Big Canoe Public Safety at 706-268-3376.
Still wondering when to call 911 vs. Public Safety? Below, Ricky outlines who to call in various situations.
Someone suffers an injury or has a medical emergency
Without fail, dial 911.
There is a noise issue or rules and regulation violation
Call Public Safety.
A bear is outside your door.
“If there is a bear outside not damaging anything, just observe from a distance and allow the bear to move along,” explains Ricky. “If the bear stays longer than a few minutes, call Public Safety to help scare the bear back into the woods using their vehicle emergency sirens or hand-held noise devices.”
You have driven off the road because you hit black ice
“If you end up off the roadway and an accident occurred, call 911,” says Ricky. “This way, you get an emergency response for medical aid if necessary.”
And if you’re only stuck on the side of the road because of ice?
Call Public Safety dispatch for a courtesy ride to your home.
A stranger is walking on your property
“If someone unknown is outside your home, call 911 and report it to law enforcement,” Ricky says. “Once 911 has been alerted, you can then call Public Safety to also respond and to keep an eye out for people leaving the area. Public Safety is not law enforcement; however, we work alongside the county law enforcement agencies to be the eyes and ears for them.”
There’s a break-in at your home.
Again, call 911 and follow it up with a call to Public Safety.
There is a fire at home
All fires require an immediate call to 911. This call will alert not only the Big Canoe Fire Department responders but also county agencies outside of the gates. In most instances, a fire to a structure requires at least 15 firefighters, so it’s standard to have additional first responders at the scene.
I can’t find my way home inside the gates
Call Public Safety dispatch. A patrol officer will come to find the caller and help.
A tree has fallen on my house.
“Call 911 if major damage is noted to the home,” says Ricky. “Emergency responders can respond and determine if anyone is injured or if there is severe structural damage. If it’s minor cosmetic damage and no one is injured, calling Public Safety is unnecessary. The owner should instead contact their insurance agent or a repair company.”
A dispute in my home has become dangerous.
“Immediately call 911 as your county sheriff’s office handles law enforcement in the community. They will send the officers who are the closest to your home.”
You’re stranded on a boat adrift on Lake Petit.
If you are stranded on a boat with a dead battery, call Public Safety dispatch. An officer will be contacted to tow your boat to the dock.
I saw a car hit a deer or a bear.
Contact Public Safety, which will send an officer to investigate and notify the proper authorities. Depending on the type of animal, an accident report will be made. If it’s a bear, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources will be notified.
There’s a power or utility outage.
“Please do not call Public Safety,” says Ricky. “We do not have any additional information.” If it’s a Utilities, Inc. Georgia water issue, call 855-448-6326 or go to their website. If it’s a power issue, Amicalola EMC has an online map of where crews are located, outages are located, and estimated response times. Amicalola can be reached at 706-253-0359.
Public Safety is available at 706-268-3376.