Okay people. Let's talk about calling 9-1-1.
This number is for life and death emergencies and crimes in progress only! Not to call to ask for a non emergency phone number because you're too lazy to call 4-1-1 for the information or look it up in the telephone book. Or to say you woke up to find your car stolen or broken into.
I have the opportunity regularly to speak in front of groups about proper 9-1-1 use. And I tell them these four things to remember. So listen up readers.
1. In ten words or less tell the dispatcher what is happening.
For example: I think I need an ambulance.
Was in a car accident.
See a house on fire.
2. Where is this happening?
Know your home address. Keep track of your location as you travel.
3. Shut Up!
There's no nice way to say this. But as a dispatcher I have a list of questions I need to ask you. You may have things you want to tell me, but they probably are not the items I need to know right away. There will be opportunity to tell me later or tell the officer. But Shut Up for right now and let me ask the questions for the information I need to know.
Your adrenaline is madly pumping. You're excited and anxious and scared. That means your mind is not working like I need it to so I can help you. So take a deep breath. And another. Focus on my voice and let me try to help you.
These may seem like -duh- to you, but these are daily issues for any public safety dispatcher out there.