Douglas County sheriff explains new 911 system

Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 4:50 PM CST
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AVA, Mo. (KY3) - The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office officials said some of its new 911 services are up and running.

Douglas County Sheriff Chris Degase says if you call from a cell phone, one of their dispatchers will answer. And he says that has been a success.

“It speeds up our response, it’s easier for us to locate you,” said Degase. “Prior to this system, if you call them on a cell phone to 911, we weren’t able to tell where you were at if we got disconnected.”

Sheriff Degase said callers have to get used to the new system.

“It’s just gonna be changed for everybody,” said Sheriff Degase. “So if you if you call and you get somebody that says 911, don’t just freak out and hang up.”

Sheriff Degase said many call the sheriff’s office and dispatchers take those as 911 calls. So when people hang up deputies are obligated to respond. Sheriff Degase said if it’s not an emergency don’t call the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office (417) 683-1020 or call their new emergency line at (417)-250-2320.

The Douglas County Assessor 3 Degase said the new technology is possible from grants from Missouri’s 911 service board.

Sheriff Degase said the next job is to re-address the county so it is easier for anyone to locate people for EMS, post office, and others instead of locally known addresses.

“So everyone knew what those were, but you couldn’t Google them,” said Sheriff Degase. “There was no way to search, the only place that could find those was the sheriff’s office, or myself.”

The sheriff said originally some people had to give EMS directions to their location before the new 911 system.

Jordan Hembree, communication manager with CoxHealth EMS, said the re-addressing greatly helps ambulances getting to people.

“Instead of waiting for driving directions, being given to them one way or another, they can just see the directions,” said Hembree. “Then they make their own decisions on how to drive their most efficiently.”

Sheriff Degase said everyone involved is excited for the future of safety.

“I’ve had a lot of people that have had situations saying I’ve had heart attacks different things and it scared them,” said Sheriff Degase. “As it should, because there’s no way to find them at this time unless we have the 911.”

The Douglas County Assessor says they should have full 911 capabilities with all the technology and re-addressing in six months to a year.

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