A special non-emergency line for the Fourth of July will be in effect in Sedgwick County on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The county set up the special number to decrease calls to 911 about matters such as fireworks and noise complaints.
The number, 316-290-1011, will be available from 6:30 p.m. to 3 a.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
People are asked to use the line for situations that do not pose a threat to life or property.
The county started the line in 2012. The Fourth of July historically has been the 911 system’s busiest night, followed by New Year’s Eve, when residents call to complain about loud parties. On the Fourth of July in 2011, two people who tried to report a motorcycle crash got a busy signal because of clogged lines. The motorcyclist later died.
“We want to remind everyone that the non-emergency line is only staffed during specified times and events. If someone calls it when it is not staffed, the call will be routed to an emergency 911 line with limited location information,” Emergency Communications Director Kim Pennington said in a news release.
Last year, Sedgwick County dispatchers reported 752 fireworks complaint calls from Wichita, part of 897 calls countywide. There were 34 fires as a result of fireworks in the city – 23 were grass or non-structure fires, six were structure fires, three were smoke/explosion calls and two were vehicle fires.
In Wichita, fireworks may be ignited from Friday through July 5 between the hours of 6 a.m. and midnight, which is the same as the statewide ordinance.
Fireworks approved for use in Wichita cannot explode or travel higher than 6 feet in the air.
Wichita has a list of approved fireworks listed on its fire department website at www.wichita.gov/government/departments/fire.
In unincorporated parts of the county, fireworks classified as “consumer” can be discharged only between 8 a.m. and midnight Tuesday through Friday. They also cannot be bought or sold in these parts of the county.
Contributing: Matt Riedl of The Eagle