JASPER COUNTY, MO.---- The Jasper County 911 Call Center handles roughly 69,000 calls each year. As the number of calls steadily rises, their budget does just the opposite.
"We're starting to see a decline in our revenue, but of course, that goes along with the economic changes that are happening across the state, and of course, across the United States," states April Tarrant, Executive Director, Jasper County Emergency Services.
So when their new budget year starts in January, some cutbacks will be made.
"Things that were conveniences to us, we're starting to look at other ways of doing things to be more effective and be more efficient but also to take into consideration the changes in the budget," states Tarrant.
These changes include switching to a different software system, and refining the dispatcher training process.
"As far as training, we're certainly not trying to take away any training from our staff. We might be doing some more in house training in 2013," states Tarrant.
The dispatch centers are not in this alone. County officials are well aware that something needs to be done to help these centers operate at their peak.
"We talk about it a lot at our legislative meetings, and I think a lot of counties are looking at it real strong and hopefully, maybe before it's all over, maybe we can get something put together," states John Bartosh, Jasper County Presiding Commissioner.
Jasper County Commissioner, John Bartosh adds, there may be other ways to increase funding for these entities, without adding more fees.
"There's already tax out there, maybe we don't need to sell it to them, maybe we just need to combine and get things put together, and maybe there's enough money there for it," states Bartosh.
County commissioners will work with state legislators during the upcoming session to look for new options.