The Challenges Faced By 911 Dispatchers: Accidental And Abandon Calls
They are your first contact for with the team of first responders that are waiting to serve you at your time of need. Their voices and present gives you steadiness and guidance during your time in a stressful situations. I know that when I had to make that call to 911 for help. The dispatcher took control of the phone conversation to get the proper information for the EMT, Fire, and Law enforcement personnel.
Did you know that our local 911 dispatch center, SunComm dealt with over 300,000 call in Yakima County, last year and that a lot of action happening over the phones. Granted, sometime during a shift things happen, like receiving a call from a child playing with the phone and they punch the 911 buttons ( Yep, a very young nephew had grab an old not in use cell phone and it next thing his parents knew they got a visit from a crew of first responders).
Or with the new phones that have the Emergency/SOS button and with a the touch screen that is very sensitive ( like mine and yes I accidental hit that button when a grabbed my phone.) or that dreaded Butt dial. All these mistakes does add up in tally of the number of calls that the dispatchers have to handle. It was reported, last year, SunComm dealt with over 20,000 of these type of calls known as "Abandon Calls"
These Abandon Call have the dispatcher doing some double checking on where the call came from. Some time a person dials 911 and realizes the mistake and thinks that they hung up the phone. What they don't know is this a safety net that is built into the 911 call system. It receives and gives information to dispatch so they can make call back to that phone number.to make sure that they are alright before completing this particular call out.
How to avoid these type of calls. 1) If you let your little one play with a cell phone. Pull that battery out. 2) Check your setting on your cell phones. 3) If you make a 911 call by mistake; Don't hang up, stay on the line so you can tell a dispatcher the number was dialed accidentally and that there is no emergency. This will allow the resources to be spread where needed.
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