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Wieberg offers advice when calling 911

Wieberg offers advice when calling 911

September 12th, 2018 by Liz Morales, California Democrat reporter in Local News

The main priority of the Moniteau County Emergency Dispatch center is simple: to help keep the county safe. No matter the call, dispatchers keep in close contact with area law enforcement to ensure assistance keeps residents at ease as quickly as possible.

In order to keep the operation running smoothly, Moniteau County 911 Director Kevin Wieberg consistently watches not only the amount of calls the dispatchers receive, but the types.

"For the past year, it looks like domestic disturbance calls are the most common we get," Wieberg said. "Then, there are the drug calls.

"But lately, there seems to be a lot of reports about suspicious activity. Citizens are doing a good job of reporting those sorts of things to us."

Wieberg said while domestic disturbances are often reported, they do not necessarily always translate to physical assault.

The hope of keeping an open line of communication between the public and law enforcement is one of the most important parts of the job. The dispatch center has worked on technological advances to keep this trust open.

Wieberg recently started increasing call types to better identify specific call categories.

Technological advances that are "exceeding industry standards" have allowed residents to text 911 if the situation requires it. Calls received by dispatchers also have been reviewed more closely, as of late.

Despite the advances in technology and methods of contacting emergency services, Wieberg recognized there is always room for improvement. This has led him to review calls on a fairly regular basis. While listening-in on the calls, a few trends have emerged.

"Location is the most important thing for people to remember," Wieberg said. "When someone calls us, they're more than likely having the worst day of their life. They can be frantic and upset, but even so, we still need the most accurate address to get to them. No one wants us to send the police to the wrong address."

Other concerns Wieberg pointed out is to listen to questions dispatchers ask during a call. Make note of any safety concerns that should be addressed at the scene; answer any and all questions in order to give emergency services the necessary information when they arrive on the scene.

"Let us help you," Wieberg said. "If there's an emergency, never hesitate to call 911. And always remember help is on the way before you know it."