9-1-1 is in service for every telephone in both city and rural areas within Boone County. When you dial 9-1-1, your call is automatically sent to the Public Safety Joint Communications Center located in Columbia at 7th & Walnut St. If you are calling from outside the Columbia metro dialing area, there are no long distance charges. If you need to call 9-1-1 from a pay telephone, there is no charge- just pick up the receiver and dial. Upon receipt of a 9-1-1 call, information is automatically displayed on a computer screen that will assist the dispatcher in identifying the address from which the call is being placed. But it is vitally important that you stay on the line and tell the 9-1-1 dispatcher what help is needed and where it is needed.
You should not use 9-1-1 if you are in need of information from one of the emergency services. To obtain information from an emergency service, a seven digit number for each agency can be found in the blue pages of the telephone book, or call directory assistance. 9-1-1 is not for information!
Yes. the Public Safety Joint Communications Center is equipped with Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD) in both ASCII and Baudot formats that enable communications with the hearing impaired. Dispatchers receive training in the use of TDD's and TDD symbols and jargon. Dispatchers are also familiar with the Relay Missouri Center at 1-800-735-2466 (voice) and frequently take calls through this service. There is no charge for this service.
Yes. If you dial 9-1-1 on your cellular phone and reach a tower site located in Boone County, your call will be answered by the Public Safety Joint Communications Center. However, if your phone reaches a site outside Boone County, your call may be directed to another facility. Therefore, it is even more important for cellular callers to remain on the phone to provide information to the dispatchers for responding emergency equipment.
Cellular providers are required to provide information on every call placed to 911 from one of their subscribers. Minimum information required is the telephone number the call was placed from and the tower the phone is reaching. Many phones currently will report the phones location as well. This information is automatically mapped at the center while the call is in progress. Regulations will require all phones to provide all this information in the near future.
There is no charge for air time on your cellular bill for calling 9-1-1.
All emergency services (police, fire, and ambulance) will respond to your call for assistance as quickly as possible regardless of how the call is received. However, if an agency is busy, a response will be provided in the order of urgency.
Stay on the phone and do not hang up unless you are in immediate danger. 9-1-1 calls are routed to the dispatchers in a time queue, meaning the calls that have been ringing longest will answer before one just beginning to ring. When you hang up, the line continues to ring until it is answered by a dispatcher and the line is locked on by the 9-1-1 system. The operator will call back to check your status.
Yes. If someone has taken a poison, dial 9-1-1 immediately. The dispatcher will connect you with the poison control center and if necessary send the closest emergency medical emergency response. If you need information about poisons, call the poison control center direct at 1-800-366-8888.
Although children have been taught to call 9-1-1 as early as two or three years of age, four to five years is usually the best age. At four or five, children can understand what to do under certain circumstances (e.g. house catches on fire, parent is "asleep and won't wake up", etc.) Use the child's toy telephone to practice not only calling, but explaining the circumstances that may necessitate calling for help. Parents should enforce the fact that children should only call 9-1-1 for emergencies and not to play or just to see if it works.