Westgate Park Safety Zones Aid Emergency Responders

The sun is shining and people are out at Westgate Park.

Its home to a 3.1 mile trail for running, walking and biking.

"Westgate is the most heavily used park in our community. At any given time throughout the day, there are several thousand people walking and biking," Dothan Fire Department’s Battalion Chief, Chris Etheridge said.

In February Dothan Leisure Services, along with the fire and police department's designated eight zones around the park in case of an emergency.

There are 110 signs around the trail marking zone numbers.

"Reducing response time by knowing what zone you're in, by being able to look up at a sign and say I'm in zone 2 may be able to shave 15-30 seconds off our response times which quite frankly could be the difference between life and death," Etheridge said.

Those 15-30 seconds made a difference Wednesday morning when 911 dispatch received a call from a 62 year old woman complaining of chest pain.

She immediately told them she was in Zone two.

"Our members at Westgate study that and they know exactly where to respond to according to the zone," Etheridge said.

Emergency responders at the Westgate fire station hopped on an A.T.V and rode to Zone two, meeting a fire truck at the woman’s location.

"By being able to quickly access the patient and begin treatment is a huge benefit," Etheridge said.

A benefit that may have saved this woman’s life.

This is one of the first calls they've responded to at Westgate Park since safety zones were designated.


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