Sedgwick Co. opens non-emergency hotline for holiday

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Setting off fireworks is now legal in a lot of Kansas cities. Because of that, noise complaints will rise dramatically this holiday weekend.

But, officials don’t want you to call 9-1-1 to gripe.

Instead, the county is running a non-emergency hotline.

“This is something that we plan for kind of all year,” said Laura Meyers, Sedgwick Co. Emergency Communications.

After nine years at the Sedgwick County Dispatch Center, Meyers knows all too well how busy this holiday season is.

Year after year, the call volume during the Fourth of July is growing.

In 2016 dispatchers answered a total of 11,000 calls from July 1-5. That was an increase of 600 calls per day from 2015.

“There was a delayed response time for an incident, so that spurred the creation of the non-emergency line that we open up for periods of high call volume,” stated Meyers.

Due to that high call volume, starting Saturday night, Sedgwick County is encouraging the public to call the non-emergency phone line to report nuisances that do not pose a threat to life or property, such as fireworks and excess noise complaints.

“Take some of the pressure off of the 911 lines, the 911 calls that are coming in. So, those are the real life and death emergencies,” answered Meyers.

Last year, Sedgwick County received 770 non-emergency calls meaning these first responders can do their job by attending urgent scenes.

There’s no way to tell how hectic this holiday will be, but this team is ready to answer any call.

“We make sure we bump up our numbers as much as we can with what we have available and just try and get through the holiday period the best we can,” said Meyers.

This non-emergency line, 316-290-1011 will be available during the following hours:

6:30 p.m., July 1, to 3:00 a.m., July 2

6:30 p.m., July 2, to 3:00 a.m., July 3

6:30 p.m., July 3, to 3:00 a.m., July 4

6:30 p.m., July 4, to 3:00 a.m., July 5