Why do 9-1-1 dispatchers ask so many questions?
Berkeley County 9-1-1 dispatchers are trained professionals that work around the clock to be the direct link between you and Fire, EMS, and Law Enforcement first responders. Our 9-1-1 dispatchers go through intensive training and certification requirements that can take up to six months to complete before they work independently to be there for you during your time of need. Throughout their training, they are taught how to process administrative and emergency calls by certified instructors. The most valuable piece of information that the 9-1-1 dispatcher needs from you is the location of your emergency.
Our Communications center utilizes a standardized call taking protocol system created by Priority Dispatch for fire and medical emergency calls. If you ever have the need to call 9-1-1 with a medical or fire emergency, the dispatcher will immediately select and follow the appropriate protocol for your emergency.
Law enforcement emergency calls are processed by asking the “6-W’s” (What, Where, Who, Why, When, Weapons). If you ever have the need to call 9-1-1 with a law enforcement emergency, the dispatcher will ask you questions using that technique to collect and relay information to the responding officer.
The information received from the questions that they will ask you will be relayed to the first responders to aid them in giving you the best level of service possible. Whenever necessary, 9-1-1 dispatchers will provide you with lifesaving and/or safety instructions while the responders are on their way to the location of the emergency.
If you ever have the unfortunate need to call 9-1-1, we want you to be confident that you will reach the right person to give you the help that you need. We are here to serve you!
The Berkeley County 911 Center receives and processes over 240,000 phone calls for service annually resulting in over 160,000 dispatched incidents. The 911 Center is the communications hub for Emergency Response Personnel and for the citizens and visitors to the county. The Telecommunications Staff receives and process calls for service in an accurate and timely manner in order to deliver service to those in need.
911 Tips – Help Us Help You!
- Stay calm and speak clearly.
- Do not hang up until directed to by the 911 dispatcher.
- Answer the dispatcher’s questions promptly and to the point.
- Be able to provide location information and directions.
- Be as descriptive as possible. You may be asked to identify people or automobiles involved. The more information you can provide, the better the dispatcher will be able to prioritize your call and relay details to responding units.
- If the situation changes before help arrives, call 911 again and give the dispatcher an update.
- If you experience problems with the dispatcher or feel your call was handled inappropriately, ask to speak to the on-duty supervisor.
- If you can’t call 911, text 911.
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