911 managers say with landline use decreasing, funds

911 managers say with landline use decreasing, funds are drying up

Posted: Updated:
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Across Oklahoma, 911 centers are losing a lot of money.

"We're losing $2000 a month revenue."

Rod Neal runs the 911 program in Ottawa County, in rural northeast Oklahoma. As landlines disappear, Neal says he can't afford to pay for technology

"It would be a shame to go back from the technology we have right now in our mapping that's all electronic to back to paper maps," Neal said. "This is what's going to have to happen. Support personnel are going to have to be cut."

Neal and a group of 911 managers came to the capitol to convince law makers to change the current law to allow them to bring in more money.

"It's going to help us survive."

Right now, counties can charge between 3 and 15 percent of a landline bill to pay for 911 services in each county. it adds up to tens of thousands of dollars to pay for 911.

But cell phone fees are capped at 50 cents a month, per bill. Six rural counties don't collect a wireless tax at all.

"Not as many people have those land line phones that had that fixed location," said Steve Willoughby. He's the E911 director for the Association of Central Governments.

Even for larger areas, like the Oklahoma City metro, problems persist. The Association of Central Governments oversees the 911 system for part of central Oklahoma. It says at least 75% of calls are wireless---which also severely limits the amount of information dispatchers get about who is calling and where the call is coming from.

"20 years ago when I was a dispatcher, we answered the 911 call, '911, what is your emergency?'. Today, most of our dispatchers are trained, '911, where is your emergency?"

As landline use keeps going down, managers like Neal say they're afraid what will happen if the issues aren't addressed fast.

"It's something that needs to be done now," Neal said.

A bill to allow counties to up the wireless fee failed in committee. Groups like Neal say they'll keep trying at the state level.

 

  • Top StoriesMore>>

  • Time Magazine names Norman most affordable for raising kids

    Time Magazine names Norman most affordable for raising kids

    Thursday, August 21 2014 10:27 PM EDT2014-08-22 02:27:41 GMT
    If you're raising kids in Norman you're making a wise financial decision. According to Time Magazine, Norman is the #1 least expensive city in the country to raise a child.
    If you're raising kids in Norman you're making a wise financial decision. According to Time Magazine, Norman is the #1 least expensive city in the country to raise a child.
  • Oklahoma City police officer arrested, accused of rape

    Oklahoma City police officer arrested, accused of rape

    Thursday, August 21 2014 10:10 PM EDT2014-08-22 02:10:34 GMT
    Daniel HoltzclawDaniel Holtzclaw
    An Oklahoma City police officer has been arrested after several complaints of sexual misconduct.
    An Oklahoma City police officer has been arrested after several complaints of sexual misconduct.
  • Hundreds rally at capitol in support of Ferguson

    Hundreds rally at capitol in support of Ferguson

    Thursday, August 21 2014 9:45 PM EDT2014-08-22 01:45:04 GMT
    Oklahomans join the race rallies. Hundreds gathered at the State Capitol Thursday to show their support for Ferguson, Missouri and to demand change back at home. "Hold Your Hands Up, Don't Shoot," was the rally cry.
    Oklahomans join the race rallies. Hundreds gathered at the State Capitol Thursday to show their support for Ferguson, Missouri and to demand change back at home. "Hold Your Hands Up, Don't Shoot," was the rally cry.
  • FOX25 Slideshows

Most Popular

Stories
Videos
Compiling list...
  • FOX 25 FeaturesMore>>

  • Tell Me Something Good

    Tell Me Something Good

    Tired of all the bad news? Looking for some good news? Tell Me Something Good, does just that! FOX 25's Mike Brooks finds the good in Oklahoma and tells you all about it.
    Tired of all the bad news? Looking for some good news? Tell Me Something Good, does just that! FOX 25's Mike Brooks finds the good in Oklahoma and tells you all about it.
  • Waste Watch

    Waste Watch

    How are your tax dollars being spent? FOX 25 Waste Watch tracks whether local, state and federal governments, or any groups, are using your money wisely... or wasting it.
    How are your tax dollars being spent? FOX 25 Waste Watch tracks whether local, state and federal governments, or any groups, are using your money wisely... or wasting it.
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by 

WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KOKH. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.