911, What is your emergency?

I say this a lot during a shift at work.  I never know what will be on the other end.  It could be a child playing with a cell phone ( PLEASE do not let them), someone calling on a disconnected cell phone (still can dial 911 without cell service), a robbery or burglary (there is a difference), or domestic violence.

Yes, there is down time in dispatch. Yes we read and play online and watch movies.  It is not the only thing we do.  As a dispatcher in a smaller city, we are responsible for answering the 911 phones and the regular phone lines as well as monitor multiple radio channels for police, fire, and EMS sometimes there is only one of us in dispatch doing it all..  Some of us dispatch for multiple cities which adds to it.  We are also responsible for running license plates and driver’s licenses and checking for warrants.  We make sure stolen property and missing children get into the national and state databases in the hopes of getting them home.  So cut us a little slack.

We are the first responders to your emergency, even if it is only on the phone.

We answer your call for help and get it to you ASAP.  We are the ones looking out for our officers trying to keep them safe so they can go home to their families.

So when you call 911 and we ask “What is your emergency?” tell us. We are not information and do not have to give you a phone number to a tow truck service or give you a phone number for whatever. For every call we get that is not a true emergency we have to waste time on, there is a possibility that another person with a true emergency who can not get through.  *steps off soap box*

Following is an actual 911 call we took while I was on shift. It was my partner and me on shift, and he is the lucky one who is on the recording.  It is this type of ignorance that makes us dread answering the phone sometimes.

Woman calls 911 because ambulance is blocking her car.

P.S. If you feel it necessary to say your tax dollar pays my salary, I would like a raise please.  If not possible, do my job for a day and lets talk…

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~ by phoenix924 on August 4, 2011.

2 Responses to “911, What is your emergency?”

  1. Wow… Speechless.

  2. unbelievable…people are so ignorant

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