Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Help 9-1-1 Dispatchers Help You

Most people think that calling 9-1-1 in an emergency will automatically allow the dispatcher to know your location through GPS tracking, but that is not always the case.

Current location technology for cell phone callers is often not as precise as a landline. A landline phone is more accurate but typically when citizens call 9-1-1 for help, more than 70% of the time they are calling from a cell phone.

That’s why it is vital that callers provide 9-1-1 call-takers with an accurate location to allow dispatchers to quickly send emergency medical units, fire or law enforcement personnel.  Without an accurate location, emergency responders might be delayed.

Remember these important tips:

  • Give the location or address where the emergency has occurred-if you don’t know, describe landmarks to the call-taker.
  • Provide your phone number so they will have your identification and/or can call you back if you get disconnected.
  • Try to remain calm.
  • Describe what type of help is needed — Police, Fire or Medical.
  • Do not hang up.  Stay on the line and answer the call-taker’s questions.
  • Prevent accidental 9-1-1 calls.  Lock your keypad.
  • Translators are available for non-English speaking callers.
  • 9-1-1 centers cannot yet accept text messages or texted photos – For now, you must dial the 9-1-1 number for emergency assistance.