Stoddard Co. emergency response leaders relieved for 911 tax approval

Stoddard Co. emergency response leaders relieved for 911 tax approval

STODDARD COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Stoddard County voters were asked on Tuesday if they would like to remove one tax and replace it with another.

911 dispatch centers across the state are struggling to find ways locate cell phones users who call in with emergencies.

Seventy-six percent of the voters said "yes" to paying a 911 tax to improve emergency response services in their area.

Money for the new tax will be used to create a central dispatch for all of the county's emergency services.

The 911 administrator, Carol Moreland, said she couldn't be happier.

"Blessing," Moreland said. "Thank you Stoddard Co. citizens for saving your 911 services."

Moreland said for years her dispatchers struggled to find emergency callers using a cell phone.

"They've been on calls for two hours trying to find people and they never give up and they have saved lives doing it," she said.

Thanks to Stoddard County residents approving the 911 tax bill – huge upgrades are coming.

The biggest – a $200,000 system that will allow emergency dispatchers to pinpoint cell-phone callers.

"It can takes two to three hours to locate you," Moreland said. "We will upgrade to phase three wireless where we can locate every wireless caller."

The new technology will make it easier not only for dispatchers, but first responders as well.

Stoddard Co. Ambulance District Manager, David Cooper, said this would help his department tremendously.

"A cardiac arrest patient have roughly four minutes before brain death begins," Cooper said. "So as rapid response as possible is what we're trying to do and people life are saved as a result."

Don Seymour is Dexter's fire chief. He said the upgrades will be essential to how his department responds in the future.

"Even though they have addressing we'll have a GPS mapping of it that will make it respond quicker and more directly to the scene," Seymour said.

Moreland said she expects revenue from this bill to come in by October and upgrades to be made in 2017.

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