MAGOFFIN COUNTY – As of Wednesday, June 9, 911 calls from Verizon Wireless customers in Magoffin County now will be answered by Magoffin 911 dispatchers.
Until late last year, any cell phone calls from Magoffin County to 911 were automatically sent to Kentucky State Police Post 9, in Pikeville, with the caller usually having to repeat their emergency first to the KSP dispatcher and, again, once the call was transferred to Magoffin 911.
As of Wednesday, Verizon Wireless joined Appalachian Wireless and AT&T in transferring emergency calls from Magoffin to local dispatch instead of sending the calls to Pikeville.
Scott Jenkins, with Magoffin 911, explained to the Independent the importance of the shift to local dispatchers.
“This will save time and connect people to someone who is familiar with the local landmarks, assets and knowledge that someone from Pikeville may not know,” Jenkins explained. “This will get a better response to the incident, and when people are in life-threatening situations, those minutes saved could make the difference between life and death.”
Jenkins noted that they are working with T-Mobile, as well, and expect the same service to go live for those customers in the next three or four months. As it stands right now, when cell phone customers not with Appalachian Wireless, AT&T or Verizon Wireless call 911 from their mobile phones, those calls will still automatically go to KSP’s Pikeville Post.
The updated 911 services are a result of the changes made over the past several years, such as updating all the 911 addresses throughout the county and moving the 911 office to the courthouse.