Lawmakers Brainstorm 911 Improvement Ideas

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JEFFERSON CITY  The House Interim Committee met Tuesday to improve Missouri's 911 system. Missouri's 911 system is geared towards land line calls, and needs updates to handle wireless emergency calls. Seventeen Missouri counties currently do not have 911 access.

The Committee heard presentations from emergency services personnel from Tennessee and Kansas, two states with more up-to-date emergency systems than Missouri. Several other citizens pointed out how inefficient Missouri's emergency system is for the deaf community.

Missouri's 911 system varies in training, funding, and technology from county to county. The Committee aims to establish a 911 standard across the state.

Committee Chair Chuck Gatchenberger asked the committee and community members to submit ideas on what services Missouri 911 should include and how the state should fund them. Committee members must turn in their ideas by September 23rd.

Several people worry about the deaf community in Missouri, because the current system doesn't effectively allow them to communicate with 911 dispatchers.

One local 911 manager said Missouri is at least ten years behind in its 911 systems.

"Missouri, as was stated, is the last that doesn't have wireless funding legislation in place and it's absolutely needed," said manager Lisa Schlottach.