INFORMATION ABOUT OUR 911 SYSTEM
In 2009 Boundary County was awarded grant monies in the amount of $ 175,606.08 through the Dedicated Enhanced Emergency Communications Grant Fee Fund, this award was 100 % funding to the county and was used to upgrade our 911 phone system. This upgrade allowed us to receive caller id information on 911 calls which we never received before. The upgrade also changed the way 911 calls were delivered to us through the phone company from the historical 7 digit phone number 911 calls were routed from (behind the scenes) to selective routers located in 2 separate locations for redundancy in case one router was to fail. Through the grant we also received monies to help with the costs associated with adding additional 911 lines (we had 2 now we have 4) along with the fee increases from the phone company for the upgrades.
Our system is now capable of providing Phase 1, Phase 2 and soon NEXGEN technology to our 911 Center.
Boundary County has received several other grants through the Dedicated Emergency Communications Grant Fee Fund to date. These funds were used to purchase a new phone recording system, our mapping software, monitors and computers for the 911 dispatch center.
The next big step that we will be taking is to move into the Next Generation technology that will allow cell phone callers to actually text dispatchers, send live video of ongoing crimes and so much more. Our hopes are that when we get closer to the move that we are able to obtain grant monies to make it rather then having to ask the voters for the money.
Our current equipment does now consist of a mapping program that automatically maps the location of a 911 caller calling from a landline phone. However, if you have recently moved or added a residence onto a piece of property that you own, you will need to contact the Boundary County GIS office to ensure that your data is accurate in that office. The mapping database is build on the information from the GIS office and the phone company.
There is still instances where a 911 will automatically go to Bonner County Dispatch. If this happens they will transfer your call to our office or take your information down to have us call you back.
Cell phones are a much larger problem when they come to 911 or simply calling an administrative line to report an emergency. Cell phones are the growing phone preference for many people as are VOIP phones. If you have a VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone and have it registered at your address in Moyie Springs but you move to Naples, when you make a 911 call on the VOIP phone the only data we will get would be your Moyie Springs information, if you haven't updated your account through your VOIP provider. The technology for tracing calls just is not where you would think it should be with all of the new gadgets that are coming out for us to use. Such as we do not have the ability to precisely map cell phone calls, due to the fact we only have one cell phone tower in Boundary County we can not get triangulation on calls. We are in the process of getting with all cell phone carriers in the area and getting their data turned on at our center, but that will only give us information about the call like the phone number and the location of the cell tower that the call originated out of. This will not give us exact location until we either get more towers in the county or until a new technology comes out that would eliminate that need.
Please be aware that the 911 lines are exclusively for use in emergencies; situations which threaten life or property and require a rapid response. If the situation you wish to report does not constitute an actual emergency, please call the regular sheriffs phone line, (208) 267-3151 and use extension 0 to speak with a dispatcher. Using 911 for non-emergency calls can tie up the lines and could prevent someone facing a true emergency from getting the help they need.