Lyons Reinstates 911 Service For Hearing Impaired

By: Caroline Brady Email
By: Caroline Brady Email

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Lyons officials are answering a call for change, dropping a measure it hoped would save the city $72,000 a year.

The switch comes after a resident filed suit against the city and Rice County, claiming new rules for after-hours emergencies violates the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Danette Dixon and her friends were on hand Friday afternoon as the Lyons city council quickly voted to reinstate its previous agreement with Rice County Dispatch.

Dixon had filed suit against the city and Rice County, saying a new method of answering emergency calls puts hearing-impaired residents in danger.

As of June 1, non-emergency calls to police after hours stopped going to 911 dispatchers. Instead they were forwarded to an answering machine officers are supposed to check every hour. Before the change, all after hours calls were automatically rolled over to Rice County dispatch.

The change was made to save the city roughly $6,000 a month after weeks of failed negotiating with Rice County officials.

Dixon declined to comment on the status of the suit.

The city plans to meet with Rice County commissioners to address their budget concerns within the next 30 days.

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