ROXBURY — In November 2007, fire and a propane tank explosion destroyed an old camp off East Shore Road at Garland Pond in Byron.
Half of the responding 25 firefighters got there late, because they were only given East Shore Road as the location.
So they arrived quickly on East Shore Road, but it was in Roxbury on the wrong road in the wrong town, about 8 miles from the correct location.
That problem still exists now and it was revealed at Tuesday night's selectmen meeting when Selectman Timothy DeRouche broached 911 concerns regarding his home on East Shore Road in Roxbury.
“My UPS guy goes to Garland Pond, but I want the ambulance to come to my house when I call,” DeRouche said to laughter.
Roxbury firefighter and E911 officer Roland Patneaude said he tried to resolve the confusion after the Garland Pond camp incident.
“I tried to take care of it from that point on and nothing wanted to be done about it,” Patneaude said. “I even went to Byron to get them to do something and they didn't care.”
So Patneaude reiterated what he said then about the same length of road that has three names: East Shore Road, South Shore Road and Main Street.
He wants to rename the stretch Main Street from where it leaves Route 120 (Roxbury Notch Road) to the East Shore Road dead-end at the Byron town line.
“That's quite a parcel,” DeRouche said. “Can we just change East Shore Road?”
“You still have an issue with South Shore Road,” Patneaude said.
“If you're going to change it, it's easier just to go from 120 right straight through. Make it all one street.”
“I understand that, but that's a very big parcel,” DeRouche said.
“You'd have to renumber every house. Why do we want to change all of that just to send an ambulance to my house? Why do we want to change the whole town?” he asked.
“Because of the issues they have,” Patneaude said.
“If anyone is going to Byron, they know they have to turn on Main Street, but they don't know where Main Street ends and South Shore Road begins. They think they're on Main Street anyways, driving down to First Beach, Second Beach and Third Beach and right to the end,” he said.
“That's the issue — they think they're still on Main Street, because it's straight ahead,” Patneaude said.
Main Street, however, ends at Roxbury's West Shore Road, which is a private way, and becomes South Shore Road.
“Yeah, but if you punch in 50 South Shore Road, it should bring you to 50 South Shore Road,” DeRouche said, referring to a GPS unit.
“If you punch in 50 East Shore Road, it may bring you over to Garland Pond and that's my issue. That's what I am saying. We're changing everyone just because of one road.”
Chairman John Sutton sided with Patneaude. He wants one name only for the stretch between Route 120 and the Byron town line. He also wants West Shore Road in Roxbury renamed.
“I thought GPS was supposed to eliminate this,” Sutton said.
“When you call up 911, they should have the location of that, regardless of what the name of the road is or what town it's in."
Selectman Michael Worthley related an incident where a Roxbury man injured his head in Roxbury and the ambulance went to Byron, because all they had was Byron Road.
That's why Roxbury firefighter Matthew Patneaude said they've advised dispatchers in Paris to provide the resident's name along with the street address, because they know where residents live.
DeRouche motioned that Roland Patneaude submit a plan to solve the problem. It was approved 3-0.
“All we want is for the ambulance to go to Tim's house. That's all,” Sutton deadpanned to laughter.
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