Blue 911 numbers still important for emergency services

Options now available to share photos and other files with emergency services


BRAINERD — Crow Wing County requests assistance to ensure the E911 system continues to work effectively by allowing emergency responders to quickly locate those in need of emergency assistance.

Those with a blue 911 sign on their property are asked to keep the sign visible at all times by removing vegetation, debris, snow and other intrusions.

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If the sign is damaged or removed, owners should contact the Land Services Department at 218-824-1010 to assist in getting a new sign installed. Those with property located within Baxter, Brainerd, Breezy Point, Crosby, Crosslake, Jenkins or Pequot Lakes should contact the city office directly.

Under the county land use ordinance, E911 address signs or road signs cannot not be altered, defaced, removed or moved.

Crow Wing County government serves more than 65,000 full-time residents in an area covering nearly 1,000 square miles. There are over 80,000 parcels with over 27,000 E911 address signs.


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In 2022, Land Services assigned over 600 new addresses throughout the county.

“Crow Wing County considers safety a priority,” Maggie Young, GIS specialist, said in a news relese. “Proper maintenance of E911 signs helps to ensure optimal response times for emergency services to locate residents and guests quickly and efficiently.”

Crow Wing County originally implemented the enhanced E911 address system between 1998 and 2001. In 2022, data was updated to comply with the statewide standard for Next Generation 911 (NG911).

NG911 is a nationwide, standards-based, all-IP emergency communications infrastructure enabling voice and multimedia communications between a 911 caller, the 911 center (Public Safety Answering Point or PSAP) and on to the responders in the field.

Citizens in need of emergency assistance will be able to transmit photos, videos and other forms of broadband data and applications to 911 professionals, in addition to making a traditional call or sending a text message.

A deployed nationwide NG911 system will also aid in more effective and efficient response in the event of a major disaster.

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The physical E911 address and sign is still an important feature of the process. The system also selectively routes public safety calls through a specialized database and Geographic Information System map. The routing of this information allows emergency response teams such as law enforcement, fire, ambulance and other emergency providers the ability to save valuable time to find you when that can mean life or death.

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "Pineandlakes Echo Journal." Often, the "Pineandlakes Echo Journal" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.

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