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911 is for emergencies only

Eibs

The 911 system is not for casual calls.

People should only call 911 when there is a crime in progress or if someone’s life is in immediate danger.

“Asking for information shouldn’t be a 911 call,” said Tiffany Eibs, 911 communications supervisor.

Marshall County’s 911 service is trying to inform the public when to use its emergency service because in the past it has been abused.

“Some abuse is intentional, but quite often it comes from misunderstanding,” according to a Marshall County Emergency Communications= Facebook post. “We want all callers to understand the basics, so as not to burden the system with inappropriate or accidental calls.”

Some of the problems come from people not knowing the county’s non emergency numbers.

If people want to call the county’s dispatch for a non emergency situation they can call 641-754-5725. That number is for all of Marshall County.

“The communication center dispatches for the whole county,” Eibs said. “It’s 24/7. We have two to three people in the communications center 24 hours a day.”

The non-emergency number will get answered any time, any day. There is a crime stoppers line available for the public as well for anonymous tips.

When people call 911 for non-emergencies it ties up the line, so people who could be in a life threatening situation could have to wait.

“The 911 calls are given priority over non emergent lines,” Eibs said. “People call 911 for reasons that they shouldn’t, but then other people are calling with emergencies on the non emergent line.”

If there’s a fire or an accident people should call 911.

So far people’s abuse of 911 has not delayed a response to an emergency, but it could.

“We want to prevent that,” Eibs said.

Marshall County also has the ability to receive 911 calls via text. There is a slight delay, but it is faster to receive the information over the phone.

The text message capability allows for people in a hostage situation or who don’t feel safe speaking on the phone because of a domestic situation to receive help.

“We encourage people to not use the text option unless it’s an absolute emergency,” Eibs said.

Marshall County’s non-emergency number is 641-754-5725. The number for Crime Stoppers is 641-753-1234.

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Contact Thomas Nelson at 641-753-6611 or tnelson@timesrepublican.com

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