Cell callers could be found faster | ParkRecord.com

Cell callers could be found faster

Lost hikers who find themselves relying on cell phones may soon be easier to find in the woods.

"It’s an issue and it’s one that needs to be taken care of," Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds said.

Though cell service is still spotty in Echo Canyon, Wanship, Oakley and the Uinta Mountains, within the next year, satellites could be helping 911 dispatchers in Summit County immediately locate other cell-phone callers, Edmunds said.

"We’re in the process of getting that equipment," Edmunds said, adding that a mandate from the federal government requires all states install the new technology. "Utah is one of the few states left that isn’t compliant."

Many Summit County residents communicate only via cell phones, he said.

"There are some people that don’t even have a hard line," Edmunds said, adding, "here in Summit County, there is probably a more practical application with all the people who get lost."

The equipment provides dispatchers coordinates that identify callers’ latitude and longitude, he said.

"It’s going to cost the taxpayers some money," Edmunds said, adding that the Sheriff’s Office is cooperating with the Department of Public Safety to purchase the software. "We’ve wanted to do this for years, now it’s becoming something that we have to do."

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