New 911 mapping system saves SWFL golfer’s life

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FORT MYERS, Fla.- Larry Willett isn’t shy about his struggling golf game.

“One time, fair. Now, not too good,” Willett said.

He gets out when he can, but is limited by his health.

“I’ve been playing Fort Myers Country Club since 1967,” Willett said. “I wanted to see the new course.”

Earlier this year, he and his daughter were playing a round when the unexpected happened.

“I was dehydrated,” he said. “It made my defibrillator go off which is like putting EMS paddles on you,” he continued. “It shocks you and it shocked me six times.”

His daughter called 911.

“The units would go to the clubhouse address because that’s where the address registered to 911 was,” said Deputy Chief Joseph Maguire, EMS training manager, “and then they’d have to find the patient from there.”

Using a caller’s description of where they are located, dispatchers can now check the closest access area to each hole’s tee box, fairway and green. They then give that specific address to first responders.

“The ambulance showed up right where we came out,” Willett said. “They were right there.”

“That can be pretty scary,” said Kristy Dutton with Lee Memorial. “Sometimes they’re way out there and it’s very hard to get to them.”

Dutton say someone’s life can depend on quick treatment.

‘The faster we can get to you when you’re having heart attack symptoms, and get your heart attack under control, the less damage you’ll have to your heart,” she said.

Willett is alive and well. He hopes to hit the links again sometime soon.

Lee County EMS says the new system helped at least 30 people on golf courses so far this year.

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