Boone County 911 Center Sees Increase in Calls

4 years 4 months 2 weeks ago Thursday, January 09 2014 Jan 9, 2014 Thursday, January 09, 2014 1:02:00 PM CST January 09, 2014 in News
By: Marie Mandelberg, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

COLUMBIA - Boone County emergency phone calls increased by nearly 23 percent from 2012 to 2013, according to Boone County Public Safety Joint Communications.

Of those calls, 77,108 came through 911 emergency lines, a five percent increase since 2012.

Nearly 79 percent of incoming 911 phone calls came from cell phones, rather than traditional land-line phones. This is the highest percentage of cell phone calls in PSJC's history.

Boone County 911 operators handled an average of 1,160 calls a day, with more than 400,000 interactions in all of 2013.

"What these numbers show more than anything is the daily workload our 9-1-1 telecommunicators handle," said PSJC Operations Manager Brian Maydwell. "It's not just 9-1-1 calls, but assistance to local law enforcement, fire and emergency medical personnel, radio transmissions, records management and more. It's a lot of work, and our staff carries out quality work every day."

Voters approved a new sales tax that funds the salaries of new Boone County operators, new equipment and software to help accommodate for the increasing number of calls.

Public Safety Joint Communications continues to stress that 9-1-1 is to be used only for life-threatening emergencies and crimes in progress. For situations which are non-life-threatening, but require attention by a public safety department, contact the non-emergency number of (573) 442-6131.

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