Residents concerned with 911 addresses in Newton County, Arkansas

Newton County OEM says it averages 15-20 call a day and a majority of addresses take responders to the correct location.
Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 4:37 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 5, 2022 at 4:38 PM CDT
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JASPER, Ark. (KY3) - Residents in Newton County, Arkansas, voiced their concerns over 911 addresses through the office of emergency management. Residents fear their address provided for emergency responders may not take them to the correct location.

Newton County is very rural, with a population of under 7,800. Nearly 95% of the county is made of National Park land, which the government owns along the Buffalo National River.

“Just being out in the remote areas of Newton County, we go to places that sometimes aren’t easy to find,” said Newton County office of emergency management director Shane Kilgore. “But, the mapping software I have does show them where they’re at, where they live, and then drops a point and gives me their physical address.”

Mark Lambert has lived in Newton County for 19 years and says its best features can cause residents problems, like incorrect addressing.

“My 911 address (Kilgore) puts it into the Arkansas GIS (geographical information system) through their server in Little Rock and says it still doesn’t show up,” said Lambert. “There could be outlaws, people running from the law. It could be a good place for them to come and hide. So it would be nice to have everything in place, not just for those reasons. But, for practical reasons, as I mentioned before with the firetrucks, ambulances, and police.”

Kilgore says they average 15-20 calls/day and that most addresses lead responders to the correct location.

“We go off the Arkansas GIS office out of Little Rock, and we download the map and put everything in our map, which we use and the sheriff’s office use. I send that to a server every so often, but that doesn’t mean Google Earth or any other mapping software will pick it up.”

While the office of emergency management says, they’re always trying to keep things up to date. If any residents are concerned about their 911 address location. They can simply reach out and confirm that it is correct.

“If need be, you can come into my office and look at my map and make sure that we have it correct,” said Kilgore. “If you’ve sold a house or bought a house and it needs to be updated, please call me, so we can update that information and have it correct in our system. If you think anything should happen, we want to make sure everything is squared away so we can help you and get services there in your time of emergency.”

You can contact the Newton County Office of Emergency Management at (870) 446-2966.

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