Dyersburg 311 service helps in non-emergency situations

DYERSBURG, TN (WMC-TV) - You probably already know what to do if there's an emergency and you need help quickly. But what if it's not an emergency and you still need assistance?

Dyersburg residents now have an easy solution: dial 311.

"Sometimes people call several phone numbers before they get to where they want to go, and this is our simple, easy number to remember," Dyersburg Mayor John Holden said.

Holden said the new service is just another way to provide better customer service to residents.  And whatever the problem, he promises to provide a quick solution.

"We will give them a tracking number, we will follow up with the departments within the city and then we'll respond back to citizens in 24 to 48 hours."

Officials hope the 311 call system will also free up dispatchers and phone lines when there's a real emergency.

Dyersburg is the only city in West Tennessee using the 311 system and city leaders say it's already lightening the load on emergency personnel.  Dyersburg dispatchers answer about 100,000 calls each year, and they say about 90,000 of those are non-emergencies.

"311 is going to give us an opportunity to divert a lot of those calls to 311 and off our 911 lines," said Grant.

Officials say those three simple numbers will get you the help you need, whether you're using a land line or cell phone.

Phase one of the 311 system is now in effect and will be used for non-emergency requests for police, fire and medical services.  Phase two of the project, which is set to kick off in the next 18 months, will take the service to all city departments.

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