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Missoula County 911 Center
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Missoula County 911 Center

Department: 911 Center
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911 Center: History

911 System will Start Today

(September 1, 1976)

The 911 emergency central dispatch system goes into effect Wednesday - for Missoula and Milltown residents.  But Project Director Dave Hunt said the 911 service will be expanded in October to include Frenchtown and Lolo.  The system will allow callers who need emergency aid from the sheriff, the police, fire and ambulance personnel, and other services to dial 911.  The number will connect the caller with the central dispatch center, which will immediately dispatch appropriate assistance.


The center, in the county courthouse basement, will be in operation 24 hours per day.  Jim Coodey, dispatch center supervisor, said that while anyone in need of assistance can use the 911 number, the center personnel are "asking for cooperation from the communities involved to use the 911 number only in emergency situations."


Hunt said residents of Frenchtown and Lolo should continue to use existing emergency numbers for sheriff, fire and ambulance.  He said residents of Missoula County who are in the Blackfoot Telephone Cooperative should dial "0" and ask the operator for Enterprise 807 to reach any emergency service personnel. He added the number is toll free.  Hunt said the Seeley Lake Volunteer Fire Department and ambulance can also by callers living in the district.


All Missoula city and county emergency services can still be contacted through listed non-emergency numbers for routine and noncritical calls.

Reprinted with permission of The Missoulian

On September 1, 1976, thanks to a grant from the Johnson & Johnson Corporation, the Missoula County 9-1-1 Center began operations in the basement of the County Courthouse Annex with 10 full time employees.

Five days later the Center was publicly recognized for helping save the life of a stroke victim.

Photograph of the First 9-1-1 Crew.    Photograph of the First 9-1-1 Control Center.
Click to see larger images.

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