Poughkeepsie, NY … Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro today reminded residents and businesses that starting Sunday, Oct. 24th, a change by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will require those living and working within area codes 845 or 914 to dial the area code when they place local calls within those area codes; several years ago, a similar change took effect for area code 518, the only other area code withing Dutchess County. Dialing 911 in the event of an emergency will not be affected by this change; all preprogramed numbers in Dutchess County’s 911 Communications Center have been updated.
The FCC has adopted 988 as a new three-digit number to be used nationwide to reach the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline, necessitating this new shift to 10-digit dialing in the affected area codes; this change is occurring in 35 states since there were 82 area codes, including 845 and 914, that use 988 as a prefix. Wireless customers nationwide may dial either 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach the Lifeline now; landline customers must continue to dial 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach the Lifeline until July 16, 2022. Additional information is available at www.fcc.gov/suicide-prevention-hotline.
County Executive Molinaro said, “I encourage residents and businesses to update the contacts’ information in their mobile phones and similar systems before the Oct. 24th switch-over to avoid any inconvenience once the FCC’s change takes place. This is an important change that will make it easier for callers nationwide to contact the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline and get the assistance they need. The simple addition of three digits to local phone calls can help save a life.”
Beginning Oct. 24th, local calls dialed with only seven digits may not be completed, and a recording may inform residents that their call cannot be completed as dialed. If residents receive this recording, they must hang up and dial again using the area code and the seven-digit number.
Prior to Oct. 24th, residents and businesses are encouraged to reprogram all services, automatic dialing equipment or other types of equipment that are programmed to complete calls to seven-digit local numbers to complete calls to 10-digit numbers, including the area code. Examples of services or devices which will need to be updated include:
Residents and businesses are encouraged to update their website, personal and business stationery, advertising materials, personal and business checks, contact information, personal or pet ID tags, as well as other such items to ensure the area code is included.
County Executive Molinaro reminded residents and businesses that their telephone number, including current area code, will not change nor will the price of a call, coverage area or other rates and services. Residents throughout Dutchess County will continue to dial 1 + area code + telephone number for all long-distance calls.