The President of Missouri’s 911 directors association says compared to other states, Missourians access to 911 services is behind the curve. President Lisa Schlottach says she found that out when at a national class for 911 directors.
She says most states have wireless funding laws, meaning there’s a surcharge for 911 calls make from cell phones. She says that fee would help pay for an update to the 911 systems in the state so that if someone calls 911 from a cell phone, the dispatch would have the GPS capability to find them. Currently, only some areas of Missouri have this.
She says this could be dangerous for children who don’t know the address of a friend’s house, or someone on vacation who is stranded on the side of a highway. She says often in car accidents the victims are so disoriented they don’t know where they are even if they live in the area.
She says many people don’t know that 911 access is handled on a county-by-county basis, so some areas have no access at all.
Law makers are leery of a tax or fee increase as an election year looms. The Chair of the Interim Committee on 911 access, Chuck Gatchenberger says this is a problem every year, but it’s a dangerous problem not to fix.