Guilford County Schools and the Guilford County commissioners have been staunchly warned by the community of Colfax that the proposed location for a new 900-student K-8 school is in an extremely dangerous location that already sees frequent accidents, most of which are unreported. What makes this proposal even more unusual is the request for rezoning and annexation into the city of High Point even though all the surrounding property is Guilford County.
When residents expressed concerns about the safety of the roads it was mentioned by the High Point city senior planner that the city of High Point would not have jurisdiction over the roads as they only plan to annex the plot of land the school will be on. This brought up valid questions, such as which fire department will respond? How would the city of High Point Police Department respond to issues at the school driving through the county to get to the border of Guilford County and Forsyth County line?
A Greensboro emergency responder was kind enough to explain how emergency services in this area work. Due to the location of the property, there is a chance that an emergency call could be routed to not only four different dispatches but four different agencies. This sounds like a game of who’s on first. Not a game many parents would be willing to chance with children in school these days.
Response times could be significantly delayed for a medical call, accident, or worse an assault. High Point Police Department has a different 911 center than Guilford County, who collaborates with Greensboro police under Guilford metro 911. Due to the proposed property annexation, High Point police would respond to that specific address. However, if an accident happened on the street next to the property, N.C. State Highway Patrol would respond. Keep in mind HPPD will be driving through Guilford County at the far reaches of the northern part of High Point to reach the proposed school property. It is also normal for NCSHP to not always have troopers necessarily close by in the area.
If an assault or other type of law enforcement incident were to occur adjacent the property, the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office would respond. GCSO is also not always close by, and more so due to the close vicinity to the Forsyth County line. Of course, anyone could guess the above agencies (HPPD, NCSHP, and GCSO) would have to flesh out where the incident originally occurred such as on school property or off school property, which would add to delayed response times. To make matters worse, due to the close proximity to the county line, if someone were to call in an incident from a cellphone the signal could bounce off nearby Kernersville/Forsyth County dispatch to receive the call. That dispatch would then have to reroute the emergency call to Guilford 911 or HPPD dispatch.
Like Guilford County Schools’ teacher shortage, Guilford County EMS is also short-staffed, creating significant delays at times during peak hours which correlate to school hours.
Do you think sending 900 students plus staff and parents into this area daily with unsafe roads and sparse emergency services is a good idea?
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