Pike County residents want improvements to 911 system

Pike County, Missouri residents want improved safety measures for the county's 911 system.

A group called Concerned Citizens for Pike County 911 is requesting a new way to fund improved response times in hopes of saving lives.

The Concerned Citizens for Pike County 911 handed over 1,500 signatures to the county clerk’s office Monday afternoon in hopes to get Prop 911 on the August ballot.

The group doubled the number of signatures required which was 738.

"My baby is not breathing, I need to know what to do and they said we don't stay on the phone with you and help you. We are just going to send you an ambulance,” said mother and Prop 911 supporter Holly Leverenz.

Leverenz remembers one of the worse days of her life like it was yesterday.

"I start to suction her with a suction bowl that you get from the hospital and in the meantime I am calling 911 and I call and the phone just goes dead,” said Leverenz.

The Pike County, Missouri dispatch center is dealing with financial struggles after a tax on land lines which provides funding for the center is going away.

"We have two dispatch positions, we only have funding to have one full time dispatcher on at a time," said Pike County Sheriff Stephen Korte.

Sheriff Korte says due to the lack of funding, he compares a dispatcher's wage competitive to a person’s wage in fast food service.

"911 they are the unsung heroes in emergency services. They are the ones that take the initial call and make sure the right resources get headed in the right direction in a timely manner,” said Sheriff Korte.

Prop 911 would include a nine-sixteenth sales tax per one percent.

If Prop 911 is included on the August ballot, voters will have the chance to vote for or against the matter on August 7th.

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