Largo Fire says jail calls tying up emergency resources

Posted at 3:32 PM, Aug 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-04 17:59:11-04

Need to call 911 in Largo? Emergency response might be tied up at the Pinellas County Jail and Safe Harbor, a homeless shelter and jail diversion center.  

Both the jail and Safe Harbor are on 49th Street and are running up the 911 calls in Largo.

Largo Fire Chief Shelby Willis says 25 percent of the calls coming into the Largo Fire Station 40 are from the jail and Safe Harbor. In 2016, 1,100 of the 4,000 station 40 received were for the jail and jail diversion center. 85 percent of the patients were transferred, but only a few of the calls were for true emergencies.

So what happens if an ambulance or fire truck is tied up at the jail or Safe Harbor? It means Largo Fire has to dispatch a fire truck from another station, and that could increase response times.

Largo Mayor Woody Brown says it's essential that the city works with the county to reduce calls coming from the jail and Safe Harbor so it won't impact their response to you in an emergency.