A quarter-cent sales tax was approved by voters in June 2005 creating Barry County Emergency Services E9-1-1. The board of directors was formed to oversee the formation of the new agency, legal issues and finances of the operation.
The construction site of the center didn't break ground until March 2007. The facility is a split level 6,600-square-foot featuring a large lobby, reception office, administration offices, 17'x24' training room / classroom, 24'x34' dispatch room, break room on both floors, six restrooms, quiet room, large board room, mechanical room and technology / server room. The building is designed to withstand an F-5 tornado and has a ground sourced geo-thermal heating / cooling system. It is also equipped with a generator and an industrial uninterrupted power supply (UPS) to ensure continuous operations in the event of severe weather or disasters. The total cost of the facility totaled $1,698,000.
Barry County E9-1-1 took its first 9-1-1 call in March 2008. When the Center originally began operations, it processed and dispatched police and fire calls only. At the beginning of operations, Barry County E9-1-1 dispatched for 8 law enforcement agencies and 11 fire department agencies. The medical calls were transferred to Cox Ambulance Dispatch in Springfield, MO or Monett-Lawrence County 9-1-1 for the Barry Lawrence EMS District.
With the new Barry County E9-1-1 facility, the agency became the addressing authority for Barry County, MO with the individual municipalities managing their own addresses with the exception of Seligman. The majority of county residents were assigned new addresses to meet the new addressing standard. The agency assigns all new addresses and maps the roads in the county. Barry County E9-1-1 is responsible for maintaining and replacing street signs for county and private roads.
The 9-1-1 Center is also responsible for the activation of storm sirens in the county at the direction of the National Weather Service, Barry County Emergency Management, law enforcement agencies or fire departments.
After over three years of operation, in May 2011, Barry County E9-1-1 Board of Directors announced the agency was facing the possibility of filing for bankruptcy. The 2005 quarter-cent sales tax was not sufficient for the nationwide recession, rising costs, decreased sales tax revenue and legal fees. In August 2011, the Board voted to have a one-eighth cent sales tax added to the special election ballot. In November 2011, voters voted against the sales tax increase for emergency services with 52.46% opposing.
The Barry County E9-1-1 Board of Directors voted to hold a special election in February 2012 for another opportunity to attempt to pass the one-eighth cent sales tax. Barry County voters approved the sales tax increase with 64.69% majority. The increased sales tax was estimated to increase tax revenue by $425,000 - $450,000 annually bringing the total yearly budget to $1.3 million. The sales tax increase in 2012 has allowed the agency to be financially stable and continue excellent service with updated equipment to the citizens of Barry County, MO.
In May 2016, Barry County Emergency Services E9-1-1 successfully completed the intensive 20-step process to accreditation as an Accredited Center of Excellence (ACE) with the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch® (IAED™). The center has achieved ACE status for its use of the Medical Priority Dispatch System™ (MPDS®). We are the 208th center in the world to attain Medical ACE as of June 2023. We are required to recertify every 3 years, and as of June 13th, 2022, we were granted our 3rd recertification in a row. This distinction places the center among the very highest-performing emergency dispatch agencies worldwide. We are one of five Medical ACE agencies in the State of Missouri.
In August 2022, Barry County Emergency Services E9-1-1 successfully completed the same intensive 20-step process to accreditation with the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch® (IAED™) for Police Priority Dispatch System™ (PPDS®). We are the 25th center in the world to attain Police ACE as of June 2023. We are one of two Police ACE agencies in the State of Missouri.
Barry County E9-1-1 is one of four agencies in the world accredited with both Medical and Police ACE.
In March 2016, the South Barry County Ambulance District changed EMS providers from CoxHealth to Mercy. In this change, Barry County E9-1-1 began to process and dispatch all medical calls that the center received. Previously, CoxHealth required medical calls that came into the 9-1-1 center to be transferred to CoxHealth Dispatch in Springfield, MO. Barry County E9-1-1 reached a new milestone in the negotiations to be able to provide all dispatching services including police, fire and medical for the citizens of Barry County, MO.
In December 2018, Barry County E9-1-1 began to receive text messages at the agency. Text-to-911 technology was added to the existing phone system. Our agency accepts 9-1-1 text messages from cell phone carriers that provide coverage in the local area.
In October 2019, we began dispatching ambulance services for Barry Lawrence Ambulance District including the Lawrence County portion of their district. With this announcement, Barry County E9-1-1 was no longer transferring medical calls to another agency and began processing and dispatching all medical calls in the county.
In January 2020, the Barry County portions of Monett Rural Fire and Aurora Rural Fire Departments started being dispatched by our agency. The Lawrence County portions of their district are still handled by Lawrence County 9-1-1.
In January 2023, Barry County E9-1-1 continued to grow when the City of Monett 9-1-1 dispatch consolidated the Barry County portion (about 70%) of their agency with ours allowing us to dispatch Monett City Police and Monett City Fire Departments. With this announcement, our agency hired two more full time dispatchers. With this change, all local law enforcement agencies and nearly all of the fire departments in Barry County began being dispatched by Barry County E9-1-1. Pierce City Fire Department is the only fire department that has coverage in Barry County that is not dispatched by our agency due to the small coverage area it has in our county.
In February 2023, the City of Monett announced it was consolidating the entire city of Monett 9-1-1 to our agency.
Bill Shiveley, Chairman
Harold Schelin, Vice Chairman
Ron Shook, Secretary
Pat Lighter, ENP, Executive Director
Mike Phillips, Mapping / Addressing Manager
This site and its submissions are not monitored 24/7.
Please dial 9-1-1 for emergencies!