Liberal/Seward County Emergency Communications
I. Cellular Phones
1. It is imperative that we know your location to be able to send help to you.
a. While traveling, make mental notes of landmarks, mile markers and towns you may be near.
1. It is important to know you call location will show only the tower the call is routed through for the first several seconds of the phone call.
2. You must remain calm and on the line for us to be able to find your location to send help to you. It is more difficult to pinpoint a location in town due to more possible locations (many houses/businesses on a street rather than one house or call for miles in the country.
b. If your cellular has a GPS or a compass application, our new CAD software will be able to pinpoint your location on a map. You would need to provide the x-y coordinates that are shown on the cellular phone application.
B. Deactivated Cellular Phones
1. Deactivated cellular phones still have to ability to dial and contact 911.
a. We will not be able to narrow down the location of your call with a deactivated phone. A person will have to stay on the phone long enough to advise the location where help is needed.
1. We will not be able to call that number back to ask further questions.
b. Remove batteries from deactivated phone prior to letting child play with the phone.
1. We have days we receive countless 911 calls from a deactivated phone that is obviously a child playing with the phone.
c. 911 can be called when the keypad is locked (this is true for active cellular phones as well.)
A. Please Do Not Call 911 to Ask About Weather or Road Conditions.
1. There are public access sites that provide the same information we receive.
a. www.crh.noaa.gov is a weather site that provides watch and warning information we receive by teletype.
1. The left pane of the window has listing for forecast, watches and warnings.
b. http://511.ksdot.org or calling 511 gives the road condition information we receive in dispatch as well.
1. There are cameras being installed throughout the state that give snapshot images of the current conditions. Simply click on the camera icon to view conditions.
B. If you need to report Severe Weather, 911 is acceptable
a. Even through Seward County has Emergency Preparedness and weather spotters watching storms, we encourage public reports of severe weather that the spotters may not see.
2. Damaging Hail
3. Street/Highway flooding
4. Drifted roads due to blowing snow
5. Severely reduced visibility due to blowing snow or fog.
III. Power Outages
A. Do Not Call 911 for Power Outages unless:
1. You know of a blown transformer location
2. You know of an accident with a power pole
3. You see electric wires down or hanging low
a. Dispatch is a very busy place during power outages. Your call to advise of a power outage may take away from an emergency call or a first responder needing assistance. Do call your electricity provider to report general power outages.
IV. When Calling 911
A. We will ask you multiple questions
1. The first thing we ask is your address or location of the emergency
a. If we don't know where you are, we cannot send help to you.
2. We will ask what the emergency is
a. We need to know which department(s) to send to you
3. We will then ask your phone number
a. We may need to call you back if the address was wrong or if the call was disconnected prior to obtaining enough information.
B. Why we ask so many questions
1. Please remember we are not at the scene and cannot see what is happening.
a. People reporting incidents become the "eyes and ears of dispatch"
b. We have to know what is happening to keep our first responders safe
c. It helps to have on-site, eyewitness information to help us find a suspect in a law enforcement emergency
d. For medical emergencies, it helps paramedics to know what equipment to bring to the patient rather than taking extra time to go back for a different piece of equipment
e. For fire emergencies, the detailed information allows them to know which fire trucks should the leave the station first for each specific type of fire
f. For Emergency Management, the information gives them knowledge of what type of chemical spill they are dealing with for responder safety
1. The information also assists storm spotters to possibly reposition their post to see a hazardous part of the storm more clearly
C. Questions normally do not take away from response time
1. Two dispatchers answer each 911 call whenever possible
2. While one dispatcher is talking to a person reporting an emergency, the other dispatcher is busy paging fire trucks, ambulances or dispatching law enforcement to the emergency location.
a. This all happens before a calling party has even hung up from 911
V. Dispatchers Don't "Just" Answer phones and talk on the radios
VI. Non-Emergency Phone Numbers
A. Dispatch: 620-626-0150
B. Liberal Police Department: 620-626-0141
C. Seward County Sheriff's Office: 620-309-2000
D. EMS: 620-626-3275
E. Emergency Management: 620-626-3270
F. Liberal Fire Department: 620-626-0128- 911 if you see fire or smoke
G. Seward County Fire Department: 620-626-6267- 911 if you see fire or smoke
H. Southwest Medical Center: 620-624-1651
I. Power Outages (Southern Pioneer): 1-800-670-4381
J. Power Outages (CMS): 1-800-794-2353
K. Black Hills Energy: 1-800-694-8989- 911 for gas leaks
L. Telephone numbers: 411
M. KBI (Personal Criminal History Requests): 1-785-296-7154