Fla. Woman Claims 911 Slow to Respond to Fire

DELAND, Fla. --

A Volusia County woman said it took too long to get help when she called 911 because of a brush fire near her home.

Betty Mayers is getting a lot of attention from firefighters after calling for help earlier this week -- for two days in a row -- because of the fire. However, help apparently had a hard time finding her.

"It was scary. There were open flames on the ground, going up the tree, making the trees explode," Mayers said.

The fire came dangerously close to Mayers' home on McGregor Road near DeLand on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Flames melted a portion of her fence and scorched her property. She used her cell phone to call 911, but she got Lake County dispatchers instead of those in Volusia County.

"It took a very long time and a lot of probing with the Lake County (emergency medical services) to understand that we were in Volusia County because they didn't understand why we were calling them," Mayers said.

Once the appropriate agency was notified, Mayers said she felt there was still confusion getting to her.

"I could hear the sirens right there on McGregor Road, less than half a mile, if you went as the bird would fly, but I could tell they were backing up and going forward. They didn't know how to get back here," Mayers said.

Although her address is listed as McGregor Road, she and six other homeowners live on a privately maintained road, and the address sign the homeowners put up is hard to locate.

County records showed once Volusia County was notified, it took firefighters six minutes to get to the scene. They're still looking into the 911 call discrepancy.

The road is off the beaten path, but rural residents think emergency responders should bone up on area geography.

Firefighters said they'll do all they can to ensure that all emergency personnel know all of the residents on the private road. Residents said they plan to make signage much bigger for everyone.

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