Emergency call box at Purdon back in service for summer season

NCSO Captain Jeff Pettitt, in his capacity as OES Program Manager, places a test call to dispatch.

NEVADA CITY, Calif. June 6, 2019 – Purdon Crossing on the South Yuba River just got a little safer, again. A satellite phone, directly connected to dispatch, is once again available to connect anyone needing help at the popular recreation spot on the river.

In case of an emergency, open the box and push the call button. There is a delay of approximately 10 seconds while the satellite phone connects to the Nevada County Sheriff’s dispatch. State your emergency and help will be on the way. The Call Box operates on the Iridium Everywhere system ensuring operation in remote areas and is powered by solar panels.

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The call box was vandalized at the end of the summer season and had to be repaired and retrofitted with additional safety features. Located on the North San Juan side of the bridge, the call box has already contributed to saving lives in medical emergencies last year.

With approximately 1,500 visitors to the Yuba River each day during the summer season and a lack of cell service due to its remote location, there is a heightened public safety hazard with response times that are upwards of twenty minutes before emergency responders can reach the crisis location. The Purdon Satellite Call Box provides close access for visitors to call 911 when they would otherwise have to drive out of the Yuba River canyon until they received cell service to report an emergency.

The Purdon Satellite Call Box was identified as an action item by the Yuba River Public Safety Cohort in order to decrease emergency response delays. The Safety Cohort is a multi-agency workgroup that includes Federal, State and local agencies and organizations that have identified various initiatives in order to promote public safety and law enforcement efforts at the South Yuba River.