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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    3,972

    Police dispatch process?

    I had to call 911 this week, and found myself having to repeat information multiple times to the dispatcher, even though I was intentionally trying to be succinct, clear and specific. I was getting frustrated since (I felt) valuable time was being lost. It got me wondering how the process works.

    Does anything happen while the dispatcher is speaking with the caller? Or does the dispatcher have to get off the call and then contact police/emt, etc., to share the details and get the parties moving? I have heard recordings on TV, etc. in which dispatchers tell callers "they're on their way" but the recording doesn't indicate the dispatcher speaking to a 3rd party.

    So how does it work? TIA!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    The Midwest
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    12,517
    Quote Originally Posted by Boodles View Post
    I had to call 911 this week, and found myself having to repeat information multiple times to the dispatcher, even though I was intentionally trying to be succinct, clear and specific. I was getting frustrated since (I felt) valuable time was being lost. It got me wondering how the process works.

    Does anything happen while the dispatcher is speaking with the caller? Or does the dispatcher have to get off the call and then contact police/emt, etc., to share the details and get the parties moving? I have heard recordings on TV, etc. in which dispatchers tell callers "they're on their way" but the recording doesn't indicate the dispatcher speaking to a 3rd party.

    So how does it work? TIA!
    Several years ago a friend was a dispatcher. It is a very stressful, and difficult job. From what I learned from her, yes, while they are speaking to the caller, they are typing information into a computer system to get the dispatch out. They are also talking to others while speaking to the caller. They just mute you. You may not know it, but they are doing multiple tasks all at one time. I have mad respect for those folks. Not an easy job at all. They also have to make determinations of who needs to respond to the call.

    So, lots of stuff going on all at once. If they keep asking you questions, it is to keep you on the phone. They also have the responsibility of updating the systems with officer codes. So, when an officer say, stops to eat, they have to let dispatch know. They enter them as a specific code. For the officer's safety, they have to keep track of them.

    Hope that helps. Perhaps someone else can provide more detail.
    Last edited by Softail; 01-19-2014 at 05:55 PM.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Illinois
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    9,478
    I believe they are typing the info in as you are giving it to them the 1st time. I know from calling 911 to get an ambulance when my hubby fell, that by the time I hung up the phone with 911 the EMT's were at my front door. No way they could have gotten there that quickly if they weren't dispatched until the dispatcher hung up. Also numerous times I have heard on scanners and 911 calls where the dispatcher keeps the person on the phone until LE arrives - couldn't do that if they were not dispatching LE/EMT until they hung up with the caller.
    ___________

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    California
    Posts
    4
    I recently have been struck with a medical condition where I pass out without any warning, so fay 3 times in the past 6 months. I never know it is coming and I always end up slamming my head into something the last time my hardwood floor that lead to a concussion and bruising on the entire left side of my body.

    Every time someone in my home has had to call 911 and the first time it was my 6 year old who called from a cell and had no idea of our physical address. He only told them we were across the street from his school in a yellow apartment. He did know the name of his school.

    They asked him to stand on the patio and they were there in under 5 minutes. The other times my husband was home and they made it here in under 3. I guess it really depends on where you live and how many calls are coming in. I applaud the dispatchers in my city, they have always been on the ball when it comes to my care.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    STEELER COUNTRY!
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    27,332
    Things have changed so much in the computer aged 911.
    Now it is all audio taped which helps.
    I worked 911 back years ago and we had to try to keep the caller on
    the phone as long as possible.
    Tracing the call was important back then.
    I had to type info in while contacting EMS, LE
    or Fire.
    We were told to talk and keep the caller calm.
    Very stressful and I still have memories of very bad experiences.
    Everything had to be documented in case it was needed later in court.
    I have been on the other end also and got frustrated also.
    Kyron, HALEIGH, ADJI & Gabriel NEEDS PRAYERS NOW TO FIND THEM!. Zahra & Jonathan in heaven
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    4,332
    Not exactly on topic w the way 911 dispatchers work,
    but an idea for (possibly) faster response in situations like Boodles =

    On your landline phones, both the handsets and charger-bases, write
    --- your telephone number, including area code.
    --- your street address, plus info like cross street, etc.
    (I used labelmaker, adheres very well)
    Ex:
    214-555-0000
    3456 Crapapple Court, close to Elm Avenue
    in Sherwood Heights

    Anyone picking the phone to call 911
    (such as a child, visitor from out of town, cable guy, a relative, or even a panicking family member),
    will have correct info to convey to the dispatcher.

    If you have cells only, then post info on fridge?

    Or maybe other folks can share their ideas. Anyone?



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