Public Safety Telephone
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of Henderson County. Amended 7-7-1997; 11-10-
1997; 11-10-1998; 11-18-1998.]
§ 79-1. Title.
This Chapter shall be known as the "Henderson County Public Safety Telephone Ordinance."
§ 79-2. Purpose.
The Board of Commissioners of Henderson County, North Carolina, declares it to be in the public interest
to provide a toll-free number through which an individual in this County can gain rapid, direct access to
public safety aid. The number shall be provided with the objective of reducing response time to situations
requiring law enforcement, fire, medical, rescue or other public safety service.
§ 79-3. Definitions.
The following terms are defined for purposes of this Chapter:
911 Charge - A charge imposed by Henderson County on each exchange access
facility to pay for the 911 service start-up, equipment costs, subscriber notification costs,
addressing costs, billing costs and nonrecurring and recurring installation, maintenance,
service and network charges of a service supplier providing 911 service pursuant to this
Chapter and all
other payments authorized by §79-8 of this Chapter.
911 System Or 911 Service - An emergency telephone system that provides the user of
the public telephone system with the ability to reach a public safety answering point by
dialing the digits 911. The term "911 system" or "911 service" also includes enhanced
911 service, which means an emergency telephone system that provides the user of the
public telephone system with 911 service and, in addition, directs 911 calls to appropriate
public safety answering points by selective routing, based on the geographical location
from which the call originated, and provides the capability for automatic number
identification and automatic location identification features.
Addressing - The assigning of a numerical address and street name (the street name may
be numerical) to each location within Henderson County's geographical area necessary to
provide public safety service as determined by Henderson County. This address replaces
any route and box number currently in place in the 911 database and facilitates quicker
response by public safety agencies.
County - The County of Henderson, North Carolina.
Exchange Access Facility - The access from a particular telephone subscriber's premises
to the telephone system of a service supplier. Exchange access facilities include access
lines, PBX trunks and Centrex
network access registers provided by the service supplier,
all as defined by tariffs of telephone companies as approved by the North Carolina
Utilities Commission. Exchange access facilities do not include telephone pay station
lines owned and operated by the service supplier or Wide Area Telecommunications
Service (WATS), Foreign Exchange (FX) or incoming-only lines.
Public Agency - The state and any city, county, municipal corporation, chartered
organization, public district or public authority located in whole or in part within the state
which provides or has authority to provide fire-fighting, law enforcement, ambulance,
medical or other emergency services.
Public Safety Agency - A functional division of a public agency which provides fire-
fighting, law enforcement, medical, suicide prevention, civil defense, poison control or
other emergency services.
Service Supplier - A person or entity who or which provides exchange telephone service
to a telephone subscriber.
Telephone Subscriber or Subscriber - A person or entity to whom or to which exchange
telephone service, either residential or commercial, is provided and in return for which
the person or entity is billed on a monthly basis. When the same person, business or
organization has several telephone access lines, each exchange access facility shall
constitute a separate subscription.
§ 79-4. Monthly 911 Charge.
The County hereby imposes a monthly 911 charge upon each exchange access facility subscribed to by
telephone subscribers whose exchange access lines are in the area served or which would be served by the
911 service in the amount of $0.55. The 911 charge shall be uniform and may not vary according to the
type of exchange access facility used. The imposition and collection of the monthly 911 charge as provided
in this subsection shall become effective on November 10, 1998.
§ 79-5. Payment and Collection of Charges.
The subscriber of one or more exchange access facilities will be billed for the monthly
911 charges imposed for each exchange access facility. Each service supplier shall, on
behalf of the County, collect the charges from those subscribers to whom it provides
exchange telephone service in the area served by the 911 service. As part of its normal
monthly billing process, the service supplier shall collect the charges for each month or
part of the month an exchange access facility is in service, and it may list the charge as a
separate entry on each bill. If a service supplier receives a partial payment for a monthly
bill from a subscriber, the service supplier shall apply the payment against the amount the
subscriber owes the service supplier first.
A service supplier has no obligation to take any legal action to enforce the collection of
the 911 charges for which any subscriber is billed. However, the County may initiate
collection action of the 911 charges for which any subscriber is billed and shall further be
entitled to collect all reasonable costs associated with the collection action, including
attorneys' fees. The Henderson County Finance Director is hereby authorized to pursue
all legal and equitable remedies for the collection of all 911 charges not paid.
Where the County subscribes to 911 services, the County shall remain ultimately
responsible to the service supplier for all 911 installations, service, equipment, operation
and maintenance charges owed to the service supplier. The service supplier shall provide
the County with a list of amounts uncollected along with the names and addresses of
telephone subscribers who have not paid the 911 charge on a quarterly basis.
Where the County subscribes to 911 services, any taxes due on 911 services provided by
the service supplier will be billed to the County subscribing to that service. However,
state and local taxes do not apply to 911 charges billed to subscribers under this Chapter.
§ 79-6. Administration.
Each service supplier that collects the 911 charges on behalf of the County is entitled to a 1 percent
administrative fee as compensation for collecting the charges. The service supplier shall remit the rest of
the charges it collects during the month to the Henderson County Finance Director within 10 days after the
last day of the month.
§ 79-7. Emergency Telephone System Fund.
The financial officer of the County to whom 911 charges are remitted under §79-6 shall deposit the charges
in a separate, restricted fund. The fund shall be known as the "Emergency Telephone System Fund." The
Henderson County Finance Director may invest money in the fund in the same manner that other money of
the County may be invested. The Finance Director shall deposit any income earned from such an
investment in the Emergency Telephone System Fund.
§ 79-8. Payments from Fund.
Money from the Emergency Telephone System Fund shall be used only to pay for:
The lease, purchase or maintenance of emergency telephone equipment,
including necessary computer hardware, software and database provisioning,
addressing and nonrecurring costs of establishing a 911 system; and
The rates associated with the service supplier's 911 service and other service
supplier recurring charges.
The following expenses are not eligible for payment from the fund: the lease or purchase
of real estate; cosmetic remodeling of emergency dispatch centers; hiring, training and
compensating dispatchers; and the purchase of mobile communications vehicles,
ambulances, fire engines or other emergency vehicles.
The County may contract with a service supplier for any term negotiated by the service
supplier and the County and may make payments from the Emergency Telephone System
Fund to provide any payments required by the contract.
§ 79-9. Telephone Records.
Each telephone service supplier shall provide subscriber telephone numbers, names and
service addresses to the 911 system(s) subscribed to by the County. Although customer
numbers, names and service addresses shall be available to 911 systems, such
information shall remain the property of the disclosing service supplier. The total cost of
the system shall include expenses paid to service suppliers to provide and maintain 911
information. This information shall be used only in providing emergency response
services to 911 calls. The County may not release a telephone number required to be
provided under this section to any person for purposes other than including the number in
the emergency telephone system database or providing the number to permit a response
to a police, fire, medical or other emergency situation.
To the extent necessary to provide 911 services, private listing customers of a service
supplier in a 911 service area waive the privacy afforded by nonlisted and nonpublished
numbers when 911 service is established.
No service supplier or agent or employee of a service supplier shall be liable to any
person providing 911 service established under this chapter for release of emergency
specified in this section that is not already part of the public
record, including nonlisted or nonpublished telephone numbers.
§ 79-10. Liability.
A service supplier, including any telephone company and its employees, directors, officers and agents, is
not liable for any damages in a civil action for injuries, death or loss to persons or property incurred by any
person as a result of any act or omission of a service supplier or of any of its employees, directors, officers
or agents, except for willful or wanton misconduct, in connection with developing, adopting, implementing,
maintaining or operating any 911 system.
§ 79-11. Persons Outside County.
When an individual physically resides in an adjacent county but receives local exchange telephone service
from a central office in the County, it shall be the responsibility of the County to notify the appropriate
public agency of a request for public safety service from such individual.
§ 79-12. Misuse of 911 System; Violations and Penalties.
Any person who intentionally calls the 911 number for other than purposes of obtaining public safety
assistance shall be subject to the penalties set forth in Henderson County Code, Chapter 1, General
Provisions, Article II.
§ 79-13. Through 79-25. (Reserved)