MORLEY, MO (KFVS) - When you call 911 you expect immediate help.
On Saturday, January 28 – a communications error kept first responders from reaching a rural Scott County home.
82-year-old Gary Sadler has lived in Moley his entire life, and relies on Scott County Rural first responders.
"It's plum scary when you call the fire department and you figure they'd get on out here. I'd called them three times," Sadler said.
Scott County Rural Fire Chief Jeremy Perrien says over the past four years, this is the third time, and it can be dangerous.
"Somebody that's having to run down the road to tell us that there was a house on fire in Morley," Chief Perrien said.
Thankfully Sadler's son was able to put the grass fire out before their neighbor's house started to burn.
"If it had really been serious it would have been bad. My house could have caught on fire," Sadler said.
Chief Perrien says it's time for an upgrade.
One that hasn't been done since before he started around 8 years ago.
"My personal opinion – after it happens one time things should be evaluated and no matter the cost is – it should be fixed. You can't put a price on somebody's life," Chief Perrien said.
Perrien says they could use new software, computer dispatch system, and mapping.
"He reached out for us to be there and the ones that he's supposed to depend on, he pays taxes to depend on, we couldn't be there, and I feel bad for him," Perrien said.
"I think it's important that they get their system upgraded or whatever it takes. For a tragedy like this – it's not much, but it could have been. If I didn't have nobody here," Sadler said.
Chief Perrien says there is currently a tax on phone land lines for dispatch service.
He believes switching to a cell phone tax could help fund the upgrades.