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Non-emergency calls — use the correct phone number

Staff Writer

More than two years after Archuleta County Combined Dispatch moved to a new location and adopted a new non-emergency administrative number, 731-2160, people continue to call the ACCD’s old number.

That number was disconnected permanently last Friday, meaning individuals calling 264-2131 seeking help are out of luck.

ACCD manager Carl Nevitt said he is unsure how many calls were forwarded from the old number to the newer 731 number, but said that calls continued to come in.

Nevitt said ACCD also continues to receive non-emergency calls on the 9-1-1 emergency line, many of which are from children.

“The troubling calls are the 9-1-1 calls we receive that are not emergencies at all, which happens less often,” Nevitt said. “A lot of these calls involve children playing with cell phones. Most people don’t know that even if a cell phone has been disabled or the service discontinued the phone can still be used to dial 9-1-1.

“It appears some people give old cell phones to their children to play with. Once 9-1-1 is dialed most phones stay in ‘emergency’ mode and will continue to redial 9-1-1 until powered down or re-set.”

Too, Nevitt said some people call 9-1-1 for definite non-emergent situations, such as one call in recent years in which a person called to ask if they were in Utah or Colorado.

As of July 15 of this year, Archuleta County Combined Dispatch had recorded 5,745 calls for service (calls that were dispatched out to an agency such as law enforcement, EMS or fire), up from 4,370 at the same time last year.

Typically, Nevitt said, dispatchers answer seven to eight times as many calls for information, wrong numbers, telemarketing calls and others, as they do emergency calls.

Through mid July, calls that required a response went to the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office 62 percent of the time, the Pagosa Springs Police Department 22 percent of the time, EMS 11 percent of the time, and the Pagosa Fire Protection District 5 percent of the time.

randi@pagosasun.com

This story was posted on September 26, 2013.