Since the 911 emergency lines were created – in 1963 – there have been countless unusual calls. From children calling for help with their math homework to coded calls for assistance in a tense situation. Not to mention those – unconscious – callers who call to play pranks.
911 is the emergency telephone number for the North American Numbering Plan (NANP), and the idea is simple: to have an easy-to-remember number that works when you need to call for help. Let’s find out a little more about how this emergency system really works.
Who Manages 911 Call Centers?
The 911 system in the United States is run by both state and local governments. The people responsible for handling these calls are professionals selected by various entities (local and state), including law enforcement agencies, emergency management agencies, fire services, and information technology (IT) services, either as sworn or civilian personnel.
Are 911 Call Takers Certified?
Emergency call takers have been trained to be able to assist people who are in a life-threatening situation. Some of these professionals are certified as emergency medical dispatchers (EMD), emergency fire dispatchers (EFD), or emergency police dispatchers (EPD).
Supervisors of this system also receive training – and certification – to ensure that they have the necessary skills to manage a 911 call center.
What Happens When You Call 911?
When an emergency call is received, there is a protocol that professionals must follow to obtain the necessary information to send the right specialists to the right place.
To obtain this information, it is essential to collaborate with the professional and answer – as quickly and accurately as possible – to the questions asked, like the location of the emergency (street address and room/apartment number), whether you are in a large building, the phone number from which you are calling, the nature of the emergency.
In addition to the questions, call-takers can also give instructions on what to do until help arrives for example: provide step-by-step instructions on how to help someone who is choking or needs first aid or CPR.
Can I Text 911 For Emergency Assistance?
Although this option is available, if you need emergency help, it is always best to call 911 if you can and send a text message if you cannot. Also, if you dial 911 by mistake, or if a child in your home dials 911 when there is no emergency, it is advisable not to hang up the call and explain to officials what happened. That way they can telñ whether there is a real emergency or not.
Can I Dial 911 Even If I Have No Service?
Yes, you can make an emergency call. However, professionals will not be able to know your location or return the call and it is disconnected. It’s also worth noting that 911 call centers save calls. However, the length of time they are required to store them varies from state to state. If you would like to request a copy of the recording of your call, you must contact the center where the 911 call was placed.