10 things to know before dialing 911

I realize I have been negligent in by blogging lately.  It’s been hard to keep up with 2 websites.  So I was searching through my “files” and found this…

10 Things Every 911 Dispatcher Wants the Public to Know


1.         Do not start off a 911 call with the phrase “this really an emergency but…”  If you have time to say that phrase you have time to look up the non emergency phone number in the white pages.  White pages, blue Government section.


2.         If you are using your cell phone to call 911 do not be irritated if you get transferred 2-3 times before you reach the right agency and do not get irritated when we ask your exact location and/or address.  Cell phones are technological wonders but contrary to what you see on CSI and Law and Order most agencies cannot do a 30 second trace and pinpoint your exact location.


3.         If you receive a call from a dispatcher who tells you they just received a 911 call from your phone, don’t argue with them that no one dialed 911 from your phone.  We don’t sit around for fun picking random numbers out of the phone book and dialing them to prank people.


4.         If you want to report a reckless or intoxicated driver, please make the call while you can still see the vehicle and give a good description of the car.  Don’t drive home and call 911 to tell us that 15 minutes ago you saw a car driving recklessly because more than likely in that 15 minutes the driver has also made it to their home.


5.         Do not use the 911 system to report something that “almost” happened.  If someone “almost” hit your car, or “almost” ran you off the road it really doesn’t count for anything.  A police officer can’t do an “almost caused an accident” report.  Just be thankful you don’t have any damage and drive on.


6.         If you received a traffic ticket for a traffic offense, do not feel compelled to call 911 every time you see someone committing the same offense.  An officer has to witness the offense to write a ticket and eventually they will get caught the same way you did.


7.         When driving – if you see a pregnant woman and her 3 children under the age of 5 stranded with a flat tire on the side of the road in 4 inches of snow the 911 call is appreciated, but you might also think about actually stopping to check on them.  I realize that the world isn’t as safe of a place as it used to be but chances are she’s not a serial killer and would like a little help.


8.         If you see an accident at a major intersection look around and notice the 15 other people on their cell phones, more than likely they are also calling 911 and you don’t need to call.  Also, if you hear a siren behind you or if you see a police officer coming toward the intersection there is no longer a reason to call because they are obviously aware of the accident.  Also if there is an accident and you are in the traffic jam behind the accident, don’t call 911 to report that traffic is backed up or that the officers are’t properly directing traffic.  911 is to report and EMERGENCY not a COMPLAINT.


9.         Do not call 911 and then refuse to leave your name.  If it was important enough for you to call, it’s important enough for you to leave your name. 

10.       If you have an old cell phone that you have discontinued service on, please do not give it to your child as a toy.  They still call 911 even if there is not service provider and then it takes dispatchers up to 2 hrs to figure out where the call is originating from.


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