Gated communities after 9-11 - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Gated communities after 9-11

November 15, 2002

Albany-- In the case of an emergency, we all know to dial 911. But, if you live in a gated community, it may take longer for help to get to you.

You wake up to the sound of your door opening, and immediately you call 911. You know help is on the way, but the security gate built to keep intruders out is now stopping emergency crews from reaching you.

"They can be an obstacle," says Charles Callahan of Albany-Dougherty 911 Communications.

With more neighborhoods installing security gates, emergency crews have overcome this obstacle. "Each gated community has a code that is flagged in our computer system, when someone in that neighborhood calls 911," said Callahan.

A universal code allows emergency crews access to most gated community, but if it doesn't work all they have to do is turn on the sirens. "Sirens work on most systems. If it doesn't we can use the universal code. And, if we have to we will physically remove the gate," said AFD Chief James Carswell.

Carswell says firefighters plan ahead, learning the obstacles they may face in each for each house. Carswell promises if you're in danger, emergency crews will do whatever it takes to get to you.

When you move to a new house or apartment, you should call the 911 communication office and tell them your correct address and gate code.

posted at 12:25PM by dave.miller@walb.com