Ten digit dialing dilemma


Reporter - Jason Hibbs
Photojournalist - Justin Jones

PADUCAH, Ky.--Minor changes to dialing patterns could have major implications.
Mandatory ten-digit dialing is just a few months away for people across Western Kentucky.

This as phone service providers start issuing a new area code.
If you have a phone number now, your number won't change you get to keep the 270 area code.
But new numbers may be assigned the new area code 364.
Everyone will have to dial all ten digits.
So, 415-1900 must be dialed 270-415-1900.
Not that big of a deal, right?
Well, some would beg to differ.
Why in the world would we do a story about three little numbers?

Clara Austin can explain.

"It's just a small pendant you can wear around your neck," Austin said of the bracelet around her neck.

You see this is a critical connection.  A lifeline, so to speak, for seniors who worry about the 'what ifs'

"Strokes, aneurysms, and heart attacks, all kinds of things knock you out in a hurry," Austin said.

"If you push it, they will answer down at Alert Alarms," Austin said.

Jeff Brandon with Alert Alarms says all emergency alert calls are answered locally. All of his alarms automatically dial a local seven digit number. But next year, that won't work.

"We have in a plan to assess the situation and take care of it," Brandon said.

A plan that includes making 'house calls' where there are older alarms that require manual reprogramming.

A tedious task that Clara Austin said should be top priority.

"One button could actually save someone's life," Austin said.

Of course this applies to all types of alarms; fire, medical alarms, burglary, you name it.