St. Charles County and local municipalities have implemented a significant upgrade to our county's 911 system. The upgrade was necessary to keep up with new technologies and the fact that over 70 percent of 911 calls are now received from wireless devices. As of Nov. 18, 2015, all the county PSAPs (Public Service Answering Points) that handle 911 calls, including the cities of Lake Saint Louis, O’Fallon, St. Charles, St. Peters, Wentzville, as well as the Department of Emergency Communications, now are operating on an Emergency CallWorks cloud-based system.
The new system improves safety and system stability in several ways. First, separately hosted equipment operated off-site ensures there's a backup in the event of an emergency. Additionally, 911 operators can visually pinpoint where a caller is located on a map. This allows dispatchers to dispatch the appropriate first responders quicker and determine if calls are from one incident or multiple incidents across the county. Dispatchers are also able to login to the system from any PSAP location, which allows for staffing and operational flexibility.
Coming next is "text-to-911," where citizens who might be unable to call 911 will have the option to text for help – stay tuned for further news. Funding for the new 911 system comes from each PSAP, along with St. Charles County and the two percent 911 landline tax.