Residents face fines for calling 911 in non-emergencies

Residents face fines for calling 911 in non-emergencies

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SOUTH SALT LAKE -- South Salt Lake is trying to discourage people from making false and unnecessary 911 calls, and from leaving their faulty automated alarms unrepaired.

In November, the city began assessing fees to repeat offenders and those who call for medical help in non-emergency situations.

"We're not discouraging people from calling - but there are obvious reasons when it's not an emergency," city councilman Ryan Gold said.

Now, there is a $450 assessment for people who call for emergency help and it's not an emergency situation.

Non-emergency situations include, according to the statute:

  • alcohol intoxication
  • minor illnesses
  • home delivery
  • patients seeking nonemergency transportation

There are also varying fees and penalties for repeat faulty alarms, ranging from $50 to $500, depending on the offense and the frequency.

"We hope not to collect on these fees, that people will learn when an emergency is," Gold said.

He said South Salt Lake firefighters are the busiest per capita of any in the state.

"We just want people to maybe think twice," Gold said. "Our fire department is very capable of changing tires, but that's not their profession. We need to focus on real emergencies."


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