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The Federal Communications Commission (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, starting July 16, 2022. Until then, customers must continue to dial 1-800-273-TALK to reach the Lifeline.

What is Changing?

For 988 to work properly in our area code, and in several other area codes and states around the country, 10-digit local dialing needs to be implemented. All telephone customers may begin dialing 10 digits (area code + telephone number) for all local calls on April 24, 2021. If you forget and dial just 7 digits, your local call will still be completed. The 10-Digit Dialing for local calls will become mandatory on October 24, 2021.

In addition to changing the way you dial local calls, services and equipment programmed to complete calls to 7-digit local numbers need to be reprogrammed to 10-digit numbers. This could include numbers stored in:

•Life safety systems or medical monitoring devices

•Business PBX systems

•Speed dial lists

•Mobile phone contacts

•Call forwarding settings

•Voice mail services

•Fire or burglar alarm and security systems

•Fax machines

Check your website, personal and business stationery, advertising materials, personal and business checks, contact information, your personal or pet ID tags, and other just items to ensure the area code is included.

What Will NOT Change?

Your telephone number, including current area code, will not change. The price of a call, coverage area, and other rates and services will not change due to the dialing change. If you are unsure whether a specific phone number is included under the Mid-Rivers Direct EAS (“Mid-Rivers to Mid-Rivers”) or other EAS plan, check using the Reverse Phone tab of the Mid-Rivers Online Directory or contact us. Calls that are local now will remain local regardless of the number of digits dialed.

You will continue to dial 1+ area code + telephone number for all long distance calls. You can still dial just three digits to reach 711 (relay services) and 911 (emergency services). Any 211, 311, 411, 511, 611 or 811 services available today can still be reached by dialing their three-digit codes.

For more information, please visit the FCC’s website at https://www.fcc.gov/suicide-prevention-hotline.

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