Niagara County Sheriff’s Office Sheriff Michael J. Filicetti, along with the Niagara County Police Chiefs, remind residents the 10-digit dialing transition is approaching.
On Oct. 24, 10-digit dialing will be required for local calls.
NCSO stated, “We encourage you to begin using the three-digit area code on local calls and update your phone contacts.”
This transition is necessary due to the new designation of 9-8-8 as the nationwide three-digit Suicide and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline, which will be effective on July 16, 2022.
Any area code with the 988 prefix must be transitioned to the 10-digit dialing to ensure everyone is able to reach the new crisis lifeline.
Effective Oct. 24, all local calls dialed with only seven digits will be met with a recording stating it cannot be completed as dialed.
Emergency services in Niagara County and nationwide will not be disrupted. Residents will still be able to reach services using 9-1-1. Other services such as 4-1-1 will remain available.
In addition to requiring a change in dialing habits, this transition will also impact any equipment or software programmed to make seven-digit calls.
NCSO said, “We recommend you update those phone contact lists, fax machines and alarm systems with a telephone connection, call-forwarding setting, speed-dialing and voicemail services, to ensure the transition runs smoothly for you. We also recommend you update email signatures, stationery and contact information you may have on file with medical offices, etc., with your full 10-digit contact information.
“The national three-digit 9-8-8 Crisis Lifeline will not be available until July 16, 2022. Anyone needing help should use their current contact number of 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK).”