History of Jefferson County 9-1-1
The Jefferson County 9-1-1 Dispatch inception began January 1, 1993 when the agency took its first 9-1-1 call and began providing E9-1-1 and dispatch services to the community. The collaborative hard work and efforts of citizens along with emergency personnel made the development of this service possible. The agency opened with a staff of twenty-two personnel.
Chief Joe Wingbermuehle placed the first official 911 call to this agency. During his life, Chief Joe was instrumental in establishing the 911 service we have today. The Jefferson County 911 Dispatch Center is dedicated in his honor as the “Chief Joseph Wingbermuehle Dispatch Center”.
The agency has grown to 36 full time employees providing several emergency services. The services include: E911, Dispatching emergency and public safety agencies, Code Red (weather alert), Addressing/GIS Mapping, Public Relations and Training. The calls for service have expanded along with the growth of the county. Since opening its doors in 1993 the calls for service have grown to over 105,562 in 2010.
Jefferson County 911 Dispatch currently dispatches for 5 Police Agencies, 15 Fire Agencies, 4 Ambulance Districts as well as Jefferson County Emergency Management, Hazmat,and Animal Control. Jefferson County 911 Dispatch has three Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP’s) within our network. (Arnold Police Department, Crystal City Police Department, and DeSoto Police Department).
Jefferson County 911 Dispatch was initially funded through a 15% surcharge on the base rate of each resident’s landline phone. The advent of cellular technology resulted in increased call volume and decreased revenue. Beginning in 1994 the operation of the 9-1-1 system was funded by the 15% surcharge along with fees assessed to each agency receiving dispatching service.
In April 2009 the citizens of the county passed a half-cent sales tax to fund the 9-1-1 system and repeal the surcharge. The new funding mechanism allows Jefferson County 911 Dispatch to continue providing E911 and dispatching. The funding also allowed for the ability to locate 911 cell phone callers, Code Red (reverse 911 system), an interoperability communications with 8 area counties along with updating our customers radios to a mandated 2013 compliance.