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You’ll Now Have To Dial 951 For All Local Calls, And It Could Help Save A Life

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Starting Oct. 24, all calls being made to fellow 951 numbers will now have to include the area code when dialing.

The change comes as theFederal Communications Commission will implement the number 988 as the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline starting in July of 2022. The change will mainly affect those who still use faxing or a landline.

Paloma Perez is a spokesperson for the FCC. “So in order to ensure that you dial someone you’re trying to reach locally, you actually reach that person, add the area code you’ll reach them directly," said Perez.

Perez added, “It’s to make sure that we lessen the confusion, that folks calls go where they actually intend them to and just letting folks know that starting the [Oct.] 24, you might start hearing a message that says you local call may no be completed as dialed, you’ll have to hang up and retry again adding the area code.”

Dave Gutierrez is a Captain with the Menifee Police Department and says the department and city welcome the change and the new 988 hotline. Captain Gutierrez says, “From our perspective, any type of awareness or service, anything that we can do for folks that are struggling and potentially going through a tough time in their life where their potentially contemplating suicide, we think it’s a good thing.”

Other local area codes being affected include 562, 626, and 949.

Jonathan Linden was a reporter at 91.9 KVCR in San Bernardino, California. He joined KVCR in July 2021 and served with the station till October 2022.