Letter to the Editor


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

County 911 is a valuable tool

Dear Editor:

As someone who sees the work that your Barry County E-911 dispatchers do every day, I cannot imagine how it would be if they did not have the proper tools to do their job because we no longer exist.

The current 911 center has technology that allows our dispatchers to send help to you from a landline or cell phone call. They have software that tells them who needs to respond and a digital map that tells them where to send help. I have seen how valuable these tools are for every citizen or tourist that is traveling through Barry County.

I also know that these tools assist all law, fire and EMS responders and help save time which saves lives. I hope that Barry County E-911 will be able to continue to use these life-saving tools and be able to provide a speedy, quality and reliable service for many years to come.

Many people are aware that the 911 board has stated the doors at the 911 center will close when funds are depleted around the end of this year. Barry County E-911 is asking for a one-eighth of a cent sales tax on Feb. 7 to keep 911 services in Barry County.

It is my hope that anyone who lives in Barry County would vote "yes," because they value the high level of service that every dispatcher performs at and that I have the honor of witnessing every day. The "yes" vote would allow us to keep providing this service to all of Barry County. I encourage all residents to ask your emergency departments how 911 helped them and is it worth saving? I assure you the answer will be yes!


Mike Phillips

Barry County E-911 director

Eagle Rock, Missouri

Who are you going to call without 911?

Dear Editor:

We have all heard the reasons to vote for or against the E-911 tax issue. Some are based on fact and some are misinformed. Everyone has an opinion. But before you vote check out the facts.

The results of a "yes" vote -- our fire department will continue to be dispatched by E-911. We are notified of an emergency by pagers, radios and text message on our cell phones. We are given the nature of the emergency, address and directions to the address. We are then in radio contact and can ask for more information or request other departments to respond with mutual aid. We have always been able to find where we are going.

The results of a "no" vote -- there is a real possibility that E-911 will not longer exist. The phone system that our department used before E-911 is no longer an option. If you have an emergency, whether it be fire, vehicle accident or medical call and E-911 no longer dispatches for us, the question is who are you going to call?

I ask that you support E-911 and therefore your fire department. Please get out and vote "yes" on Feb. 7


Jim Matthew

Exeter Fire Protection District chief

Exeter, Missouri

Reader asks residents to vote "yes"

Dear Editor:

When we first moved here in 2000 my husband joined the volunteer fire department.

I remember on one call his directions were turn on . . . road name . . . then go left at the tree. Well it has changed now that we have an up-to-date E-911 service. This service is not only available to all land lines but also if you are in an accident or out on the lake E-911 can locate your cell phone position.

Will we go backwards because we can't afford to give up a cup of restaurant coffee or soda each month? Yes, that's all it will cost you. Please vote "yes" for the E-911 emergency response system.

Thank you,

Rita Goodhead

Shell Knob, Missouri

What price can

you put on safety?

Dear Editor:

How much value do you place on your life? Your family's, friends'? Is it more than a trip to McDonald's or the occasional candy bar?

Personally, I believe there is no dollar amount too high for the protection and safety of my life and those of my fellow residents of Barry County. In a world where the cost of living is high, I consider us lucky to be able to keep Barry County E-911 open for pennies on the dollar. For less than the cost of a trip out to dinner, we can have life-saving help just three numbers away.

I have the unique and fortunate ability to spend part of my time as a 911 dispatcher and the other as a firefighter and first responder for the Wheaton Fire Department. I cannot tell you how having 911 in our county has improved our call times. Knowing that there is someone on the other end of the radio that knows exactly what the situation is and exactly where they are going gives us a great piece of mind, and is an amazing safety feature.

The absence of 911 will result in increased call times, decreased personnel response and decreased communications between departments. For you, this will mean it will likely take longer for someone to reach you and your emergency. This should be alarming. It is frustrating to me that a service that has made our efforts easier could potentially be taken away.

Do I like taxes? Of course not, no one does. But there is a point when that extra taxation is necessary. No matter your political party affiliation or lack thereof, one would agree that sometimes we have to pay for the services we deem as necessary or desirable. In my opinion, Barry County E-911 is both a necessary and desirable service. We have come entirely too far to turn back now.

So what will happen if you have an emergency and there is no 911 to call? We will probably go back to dialing one set of numbers for the sheriff's office, another for the city police, another for the ambulance, another for the fire department, etc.. But why? Why would anyone want to go backwards and deal with the hassle of having to keep track of all these numbers and to try and recall them during an emergency?

This is real; no scare tactics are being used. The increase passes, we keep 911. The increase fails, 911 goes away. So I ask you to think of your safety and that of your family. What is it worth to you? Help us keep Barry County E911 up and running and do your part to save a life.


Stuart Lombard

Wheaton Fire Department first responder and firefighter and Barry County E-911


Wheaton, Missouri