SHOW ME THE RECORDS: 911 Fire and Rescue Dispatch

Sunday, March 14, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CST

March 14 to 21 has been declared by the American Society of News Editors as "Sunshine Week," a time to shine the spotlight on the rights of the people to open government and freedom of information.

This week, and once a week after, the Missourian will highlight another government record. You can learn a lot about your community, state and country. Open records help people keep government in check and help them better understand how government affects their lives.

The records
: A list of incidents to where the fire and rescue departments were dispatched. The time, location, type of incident and which units from which agency responded is also shown. The data is automatically updated every 60 seconds.

Why you'd want them: To find out where emergencies are happening in Columbia and the basic facts.

Where you get the records: You can search for real-time 911 fire and rescue dispatches on the City of Columbia's Web site. If you want to see just Columbia Fire Department calls or University Hospital Ambulance Service, for instance, the data can be filtered.

How much will it cost: The information is free.

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