Chapter 5.21
MISUSE OF THE 911 OR EMERGENCY CALL SYSTEM

Sections:

5.21.010  Purpose.

5.21.020  Definitions.

5.21.030  Misuse of the 911 system – Designated.

5.21.040  Misuse of the 911 system – Fees.

5.21.050  Notice.

5.21.060  Penalty.

5.21.070  Resumption of service.

5.21.010 Purpose.

This chapter is intended to reduce the number of false requests for emergency assistance or similar misuse of the 911 emergency response system which occur within the city and result in waste of city resources by providing for corrective administrative action, including fees and potential discontinuance of service for repeated violations. [Ord. 3252 § 1, 1999].

5.21.020 Definitions.

The following persons or words used in this chapter shall be defined as set forth in this section:

A. “Person” includes any natural person, partnership, joint stock company, unincorporated association of society, or corporation of any character whatsoever; and

B. “Misuse of the 911 system” is a request for emergency response when no actual emergency exists and when the caller does not have a good faith basis to request emergency assistance. This chapter shall not be applicable to mechanical activations of request for assistance which are dealt with in Chapter 5.20 ECC, nor shall it be interpreted to impose liability on any person who makes a good faith request for emergency assistance based on a reasonable factual basis that an emergency situation exists. [Ord. 3252 § 1, 1999].

5.21.030 Misuse of the 911 system – Designated.

It shall be unlawful for any person to misuse the 911 system. It shall be an affirmative defense that the person charged has a good faith, reasonable factual basis for the request. [Ord. 3252 § 1, 1999].

5.21.040 Misuse of the 911 system – Fees.

A. The city shall impose the following administrative sanctions upon the request of the police or fire departments upon misuse of the emergency medical response system:

1. Upon a first response to a premises at which a request for emergency assistance has been made by misuse of the 911 system, notice of the conditions and requirements of this chapter shall be given to the person requesting emergency medical assistance. The notice shall indicate both penalties imposed by this chapter and that the city will cease to provide emergency medical response to any address following third misuse of the emergency medical response system within a 12-month period.

2. If a second response to a premises occurs as a result of misuse of the 911 system within a 12-month period, the person making such calls shall, within three working days after notice to do so submit a written report to the chief of police on a form prescribed by the city setting forth the reason for the misuse of the system, the corrective action taken, if any, and such other information as the chief of police or his designee may require to determine the cause for the misuse of the emergency medical response system, any mitigating circumstances and necessary corrective action which is called for. The chief of police or his designee shall be authorized to inspect the factual basis for the misuse of the emergency medical response system, describe necessary corrective action and give notice to the person or persons residing at such address the conditions and requirements of this chapter. All costs of inspection and corrective action shall be borne by the resident or residents of the premises.

3. If three or more responses to a residence occur within a six-month period based upon misuse of the 911 system, an administrative fee of $500.00 shall be assessed with respect to each and every emergency response which has occurred within the 12-month period.

B. Monetary assessments imposed in accordance with this section shall be paid to the city clerk within 15 days of the date of notice. If the assessments are not paid within this period, the city clerk shall forward the matter to the city attorney for collection. [Ord. 3252 § 1, 1999].

5.21.050 Notice.

Notice of imposition of any administrative decision or sanction, including the imposition of a monetary assessment, shall be given to the person(s) residing on such premises as well as the owner of premises as shown on the tax records of Snohomish County; provided, however, that with respect to a business premises, the owner, manager, or chief administrative agent regularly assigned and/or employed on the premises at the time of the occurrence of the deliberate misuse of the 911 system shall be presumed to be the person to whom notice shall be given. [Ord. 3252 § 1, 1999].

5.21.060 Penalty.

Unless otherwise provided in this chapter or by state statute adopted by reference, any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be punished by fine not to exceed $5,000. Such penalty shall be in addition to any fee imposed and/or discontinuation of emergency medical service. [Ord. 3252 § 1, 1999].

5.21.070 Resumption of service.

In the event that any premises is sold or leased to new persons not responsible for such violations, the chief of police, upon receipt of written notification from the residents, shall lift the administrative order and resume regular emergency medical or police response in accordance with standard procedures. [Ord. 3252 § 1, 1999].