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News : Records Show Longer Emergency Call-answering Times, More Abandoned Calls Since 311, 911 Merger


New Orleans, LA, USA, June 10, 2019 -- Records provided by the Orleans Parish Communication District, which runs the city’s 911 call center, show that since the January merger of 911 and 311 — the city’s general non-emergency service and complaint line — some 911 callers are waiting longer for call-takers to pick up. And increasing numbers of emergency callers have been hanging up without speaking to a 911 operator.

In a phone interview, Communication District Executive Director Tyrell Morris acknowledged that the addition of tens of thousands of 311 calls — complaints about things like garbage service, broken streetlights and drainage — has had an effect on 911 call answering times.

"It’s an impact that we anticipated for and planned for," Morris said.

He added that the agency will soon add new staff from an academy class, with another class set to begin in the next several months. And he said city’s 911 call-takers are still meeting or exceeding national 911 service standards

The city and the Communication District merged 911 and 311 in January, training all emergency call-takers to handle 311 calls as well. The move, proposed by Mayor LaToya Cantrell as part of her 2019 budget, allowed the 311 phone service — formerly open during City Hall business hours — to operate 24 hours a day. Consolidating the services also meant that the city wouldn’t have to pay for a separate 311 call center, a $900,000 annual savings, Cantrell said.

But late last month, the state Attorney General’s Office issued an opinion questioning the legality of the arrangement. Because the Communication District was created primarily to administer an emergency number and assist the police department, fire department and city EMS, "it is likely improper for a communications district to administer a number for residents to call regarding local governmental information," the opinion said.

Cantrell’s office did not respond to a request for comment on this story.

The use of the 911 call center for large numbers of non-emergency calls has come under scrutiny in the past. In 2013, The Lens reported that up to 12 percent of calls coming into the center were from police officers doing required check-ins during off-duty details.

"It’s disturbing that 911 is being used for anything else than 911," then-City Councilwoman Cynthia Hedge-Morrell said the following year in reference to the paid-detail call traffic.

Previously, in 2012, a consulting firm hired by the Communication District recommended that the call center "work toward removing non-emergency duties from communication staff, such as paid detail calls."

"The impact on the overall workload of the center is significant," a report by the firm said. "The handling of these calls detracts from the primary purpose of the [public safety answering point] of processing emergency calls."

Heavy 311 call traffic

A report posted on the Communication District’s website says that "paid detail call-in via phone" was eliminated in November 2017. Marcus Creel, the Communication District’s public engagement officer, told The Lens that the agency’s operators no longer handle paid detail calls.

But monthly reports on call traffic, provided by the Communication District in response to a public records request, show that the center is receiving far more 311 calls per month than it previously got from police officers working details. The Lens reported that paid detail check-ins accounted for about 8,000 calls per month in late 2012 and early 2013.

But Communication District employees have taken between about 15,000 and 20,000 311 calls every month since January, about a quarter of the total calls included in the reports the agency provided. At the same time, 911 performance has declined.

In May 2018, 892 emergency calls rang for more than 15 seconds — a key benchmark for 911 services — before being picked up. That’s about 1.7 percent of 52,753 answered calls that month. In January, the month that the merger went into effect, it was up to 2,018 emergency calls, or 4.5 percent of 44,324 monthly pickups.

Last month, 2,875 calls rang for 15 seconds or more, 5.5 percent of 51,998 calls.

While Morris said that 311 traffic has had an effect on 911 answering times, "We did not believe it was going to drop us below the national standards. And it has not."

Over the past several years, the agency’s most commonly cited goal has been to meet an industry standard of answering 95 percent of emergency calls in 15 seconds or less. The Communication District does not include hang-ups, or abandoned calls, as part of this measurement. The reports provided show that it has met, and in most cases exceeded, that goal every month since May 2018 except for April and May, when it was very close, at 94.6 percent and 94.5 percent, respectively.

A separate standard it uses calls for 90 percent of emergency calls in 10 seconds or less. The Communication District has exceeded that goal in every month since December. (Data on call answering times of 10 seconds or under is not included for the earlier months.)

Meanwhile, the number of hang-ups, or abandoned calls, has gone up, from just under 5 percent of emergency traffic in May last year, to 6.2 percent in April and 5.9 percent in May.

Morris noted that the vast majority of those abandoned calls — before and after the merger — rang for two seconds or less before a hang-up or disconnection. Many were likely accidental calls.

However, the abandonment rate for calls that rang for at least 15 seconds has increased as well. In May 2018, 306 calls, or 0.5 percent of emergency calls, rang for 15 seconds of more before they were abandoned. Last month, that was up to 847, or 1.5 percent of all emergency calls.

In spite of the recent drop in performance, the call center still appears to be performing better than it was just a few years ago. The agency was its mark about 80 percent of the time in the spring of 2016. It used a slightly different standard and deducted abandoned calls from its success rate at the time. Even so, the abandonment rate was higher at the time, often accounting for more than 10 percent of emergency call traffic.

Morris said the Communication District will deal with the changes in part with additional staff. An academy class of 10 recruits is set to move from the classroom to its three-month on-the-job training on June 14. And another class will begin will they’re still in training.

He expects to be at full staffing levels — the agency is budgeted for 148 operations positions in its operations division — when those two classes have completed training.

In the meantime, he’s made up for vacancies in the call center with overtime for existing staff.

"But of course that’s not as good as having someone in that seat," Morris said.


Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent

Today's Tip of the Day - Stop-Start-Continue

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More Editorial From Orleans Parish 911 Call Center

Published: Wednesday, June 12, 2019

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2021 Buyers Guide Dialer Solutions

Acqueon Technologies Inc.

Acqueon's AI-driven conversational engagement software enables sales, marketing and service organizations to engage in emotionally connected dialogs with customers via their channel of choice for significantly improved results. The Acqueon suite adds multichannel campaign management, contact center analytics, desktop, and CRM connectors for your contact center software of choice, including Amazon Connect, Cisco, Nice inContact, and Twilio. Acqueon conversational engagement software leverages the Acqueon IQ platform to aggregate data from the various applications, assemble rich customer contexts, and drive next-best-action using powerful statistical and predictive models.
PH: +1 888-946-6878

Avyukta Intellicall Consulting Pvt. Ltd.

Dialer CRM VoIP CTI Cloud Solutions
We are a single roofed solution for Dialer / Hosted Dialer / VoIP / CRM and CTI Solutions . With 300+ call center clients in above 9 countries and recent features such as :

Dynamic custom agent crm popup

avatar module

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Cloud Telephony with/out "Host your Trunks" option

and End to End CRM on the cards we are supposed to grow exponentially within the next 6 Months
PH: +91-9549999916

Call Center Studio

Call Center Studio
Call Center Studio is the world’s first call center built on Google and is one of the most secure and stable systems with some of the industry’s best reporting. It is one of the most full-featured enterprise grade systems (with the most calling features, one of the best call distribution, outbound dialing features and integrations—including IVR, AI Speech Recognition, blended inbound/outbound calling and includes Google’s new Dialogflow and Speech API. Call Center Studio is the absolute easiest to use (with a 10 minute setup), and is the price performance leader with lower equipment cost and less setup time.
PH: +1 512-872-7565

Cloud IT Services GmbH

Dialfire offers you a complete call center solution that is simple and intuitive to use and adapts to your needs. It's completely cloud-based, saving you the hassle of setting up a phone system and installing software. In addition to predictive dialing and call blending of inbound calls, you can create personalized campaigns through an intuitive and easy-to-use interface. Features include automated workflows and full control over the agent screen.

You can see the full list of features here:

ComSys S.A.

CList for Outbound Campaigns Management
CList by Comsys is an application that helps contact centers enhance the performance of their outbound campaigns. It accomplishes that by enabling the planning and execution of sophisticated communication strategies. Additionally, the AI-powered module of CList extends the possibilities of outbound campaigns delivering unprecedented results.
Comsys is a provider of οmnichannel customer engagement solutions that assist companies around the world in delivering unique customer experiences. For the last 15 years, Comsys designs and implements complex projects for clients from the outsourcing, financial services, telecommunications, and retail sectors. Comsys enjoys strategic partnerships with t...
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PH: +302109241486

Consilium Software

Consilium UniCampaign™
Reaching the right person with the right information on the right channel at the right time is a tall order. That’s the power the new Consilium UniCampaign™ has been adding to Cisco outbound contact centers, easily tripling or quadrupling results, from improving digital customer acquisition to managing post-sale customer relationship. Delivering proactive outbound engagement in a game-changer product, Consilium UniCampaign™ is an omnichannel List and Campaign Management (LCM) solution which complements the strength and robustness of Cisco's Outbound Dialer with the implementation of multichannel (voice, email, and SMS) outbound contact strategies. The new 7th release of UniCampaign™ is des...
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PH: (+61) 406 501 368


Dialer software that makes customer contact pain free, so your team aren’t worried about complex technology and can focus on what they do best. Dramatically increase agent productivity using a variety of dialers, combined with AI, leveraging data-driven contact strategies to ensure the right agent is contacting your customers at the right time.

Take control, and ensure your team are on-message by designing the perfect agent interface with a drag-n-drop visual WYSWYG editor.

Rotate CLIDs, and auto-wrap certain calls to ensure maximum agent productivity and performance.
PH: +6188803111


Genesys PureConnect
Genesys PureEngage

Cloud IT Services GmbH

Companies of all sizes rely on the cloud-based call center platform Dialfire and its powerful predictive dialer. Dialfire is ready to use within minutes and easily personalizable. From small ad-hoc to large multi-step campaigns, Dialfire offers high scalability. Adapt customer masks and automate workflows per mouse click. Integrated scripting and APIs ensure a smooth connection with external systems.
PH: +49 351 44529800


With Megadialer you will get a customized call center software. With the creation of personalized questions, surveys and sales script you will have the information you need from your customers quickly and efficiently. Improve the performance of your agents with a 100% online contact center, real-time analytics and predictive dialer to optimize the time between one call and another.

All rates include:
Instant Call Reports
On-Demand Recording
Call Supervisor
Call Layout after Completion
Your Own Caller ID
Call Monitor
Automatic Re-Calls
Automatic sending of Mails
Incoming Call Management
Real-time Activity Panels
Call Lists for Agents
Different Levels of Administration
PH: +34 952 667 511


Advanced outbound solution including predictive dialing, featuring patented technologies such as Live Person Detection (LPD™) and SNoDrop™ using Artificial Intelligence to deliver compliant & effective predictive dialing with 0% abandoned call rates. The solution includes its own CRM system as well as visual campaign creation and management as well as automated data import and export capabilities. The package comes with highly visual and open call scripting technology and an SDK (Software Development Kit) is also available for embedding the dialer into your own user front end.
PH: +44 345 0181 070

Nuxiba Technologies

Discover Nuxiba's all-in-one dialer solutions. Either predictive or automatic, our software adapts to your business needs with a powerful and easy-to-use system. We offer TCPA compliance options, so you never have to worry about issues with the law and PCI Data Security so you can protect your cardholder's data information during every call.

Stop worrying about technicalities and focus on the most valuable aspect: giving the best service and customer experience with our intuitive features. All of our features and modules are fully adaptable to any business needs.

Obtain the benefits of using software fully tailored to your business, start saving money, and boosting your productivity.


Reach more contacts, in less time with PhoneBurner. Powering thousands of client and millions of calls, our cloud-based software eliminate repetitive tasks so agents have up to 4x more live conversations. Unlike other dialers, PhoneBurner delivers 100% delay-free connections with no awkward pause. Conversations start off with promise, not hangups.

- Call 60-80 contacts per hour, per agent
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Scales to any size team with no contracts, no setup fees, and no per minute charges. Start a free trial without a credit card.
PH: 877-588-2292


Predictive Dialler
A predictive dialler is an outbound call system that automatically dials from a list of telephone numbers. Also known as Power or Auto dialers it will automatically help agents make more calls, generate higher rates of connections, increase conversions, manage voicemail, no-answers and disconnected numbers.

We’ve made it easy to get started, we offer packages to best suit your needs and don't tie you into long term contracts. Don't take our word for it take out a no-commitment free trial!
PH: +441617102740

Teckinfo Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

InterDialog UCCS
The InterDialog Dialer is an independent & intelligent auto dialer software that controls the outbound calls using various algorithms. This call center dialer works as Predictive Dialer Software, Progressive Dialer Software, Preview Dialer Software or Power Dialer Software based on the requirement of the process. It allows the system to create groups/caller lists and then dials out to multiple calling groups/lists at the same time, thus helping target a wider market segment in a shorter period of time.

The predictive dialer software and automatic dialer algorithms used by the InterDialog Dialer are designed to improve efficiency by lowering the wait time, the number of dropped calls and t...
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Tru29 Outsource Solutions Inc.

Custom Outsourced Solutions
Tru29 Solutions tailor fits a dialer solution that will truly suit your needs.

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