Published: Jul 30, 2014 5:09 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 31, 2014 10:49 AM EDT

ESTERO, Fla. - A medical emergency can happen anywhere. If someone gets hurt on the golf course, sometimes that means it they are a long distance from the clubhouse.

"Having had a heart issues myself it would be nice to know that somebody can get there quickly and take care of whoever's in need," said golfer Tim McAuliff.

In the past, EMS crews would drive straight to the clubhouse.

"We would have a delayed response," said Estero Fire Chief, Scott Vanderbrook. "We would go to the clubhouse first, find out where they were and sometimes they were 4-5 holes away so we had another 3-4 minutes getting to that location. If we got a stroke patient or cardiac arrest the time is critical."

This new system is going to change all that. First responders from Lee County EMS and local fire districts went out to all the golf courses in Lee County.

They, physically, checked the closest access areas to each hole's tee box, fairway and green. They then entered the addresses from nearby homes into the 911 system.

So when a call comes in, "they can send the help to the closest numerical address to get access to the," said Lee County Telecommunications Manager, Tina Taviano.

The dispatcher will ask the golfer what golf course, what hole and where he or she is located on that specific hole. Instead of showing up at the main building, crews will now have an address that leads straight to their patient. Taviano estimates the entire project will be operational by the end of September. 

 

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