911 center in Helena sees more call volume in 2022

Phil Drake

The Lewis and Clark County/City of Helena 911 Dispatch Center had 63,923 calls for service in 2022, a 5.3% increase from the year before, according to numbers provided by the Helena Police Department.

Of those, 6,546 were medical calls, 1,252 were fire calls and 46,546 were law enforcement calls. Officials said they received 65 text messages.

These numbers include all agencies served by the dispatch center, which includes the Helena Police Department, Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office, East Helena Police Department, Helena Fire Department and St. Peter’s Ambulance Service, among other agencies. According to the city’s website, the center near the Helena Regional Airport serves three law enforcement agencies, three ambulance services, 16 fire departments and a handful of state and federal agencies.

Helena Police Chief Brett Petty said there were actually 89,032 incoming calls to the 911 Center in 2022, but not every call warranted a first responder response. Dispatchers sift through some calls and then advise. And, he said if you added the dispatcher workload and outbound calls made by dispatchers along with returned calls, “you could say there were actually 106,654 total calls to the center.”

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