County needs Enhanced 911

The Fayette County Board is expected to vote this week on putting an Enhanced 911 referendum on Novembers general election. Were advocating for that board action, and also for the support of E911 at the general election.

On the agenda for the boards regular meeting this Thursday night is a proposed ordinance that would put the measure before the voters, with the recommended monthly E911 surcharge set at $2.75.

County residents have twice voted on an Enhanced 911 referendum, and twice they rejected a monthly surcharge for the emergency phone service. We hope the outcome is different this November.

Some may argue that now is not the best time to propose such a referendum, with the price of gas and many other life staples on the rise. And those who make that argument have a valid point.

Yet, what is the cost of a human life? And thats what Enhanced 911 emergency phone service is all about saving lives. The service would cost you considerably less than 1 gallon of gas.

Fayette County is one of the few counties in Illinois that either doesnt have the service available or hasnt approved its future implementation.

Theres a reason why almost every county has gotten on board with the service it saves lives.

Anyone familiar with emergency services knows that minutes, and even seconds, can mean life or death. And oftentimes, a person reporting an emergency to a dispatcher over the phone is either unable to give vital information or hangs up before doing so. Thats what Enhanced 911 is all about making that information available to the dispatcher immediately upon receipt of that call.

More times than we can count, there have been emergencies in this county when the responding agency fire, police or emergency medical technicians have been delayed, or even gotten lost for a short period, due to the callers inability to remain calm and direct the responder(s) to the proper location.

Assuming that the county board does agree to put the Enhanced 911 issue on the ballot, youll have plenty of opportunities to learn in coming months about the service and why you should want to have it available to you.

We encourage you to take advantage of those opportunities before voting in November. Youll be an educated voter, which we think means that youll also support passage of the referendum.


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