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News : SCMPD Talks Common 911 Call Mistakes
Savannah, GA, USA, Oct 12, 2015 -- Every second counts during a crisis. That's why giving the most efficient and accurate information during a 911 is especially important. However, SCMPD operators say there's one mistake that people often make.
911 operators say most people calling for help miss the most important question - "Where is your emergency?"
"Quite often, we get a lot of people that will call and I'll say where is your emergency and instead of telling me where they are, " said SCMPD Communications Officer, Claude Debnam. "They will tell me what has happened and at that time I have no idea where they are."
Operators say failing to immediately give operators a location could make it more difficult to send help. They also say it's easier to trace calls on land lines rather than cell phones.
"Cell phones are creating more of a challenge depending on which cell phone company you're working with," said Communications Manager, Lt. Jeff Olson. "Some provide more information that others."
The 911 call center in Chatham County dispatches six police departments, seven fire departments and an EMS.
"We stay extremely busy for instance, last year we had nearly 700,000 calls come into the center," Olson said. Approximately 50% of those are 911 calls. That turns into somewhere between 1800 and 1900 calls a day."
"We may have a calm half hour, ten minutes, and then all of a sudden, the phones are ringing off the hook and we just need to do our jobs as quickly proficiently as we can to try to handle all those calls as they're coming in," said Communications Officer, Carrie Simmons.
Operators say often times people are frustrated because they don't think help is coming, however that's often not the case. While operators are talking to callers, they've most likely dispatched emergency responders and they're on the way.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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More Editorial From Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department
About Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department:
The Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department is the primary law enforcement agency for the city of Savannah, Georgia, United States, as well as Chatham County, Georgia.
Published: Tuesday, October 13, 2015