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911 operator 1-touch redirect

When someone doesn't know what is really an emergency...
  (+2, -4)
(+2, -4)
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It seems that some people just don't know what 911 should really be called for. It's for if you need police, fire, or medical staff to *come to your location* NOT for asking something like "is it safe to do ________________" or "my fire alarm keeps beeping once a minute what does that mean". This is a waste of time for the operators who could be saving someones life instead of explaining to someone how to call the non-emergency line so that they can ask the police or fire department a legit question.

I believe that 911 operators should have 2 buttons, which are both pushed simultaneously to prevent accidental activation, to instantly patch the caller through to various non-emergency lines, (1 set of buttons for each said number) including some things that might be considered an emergency, but not one that needs the fire department/police/ambulance (such as being locked inside a building/room because the door is broken-that would be an "emergency" call for a lock-smith, or being trapped in an elevator- an "emergency" for an elevator repair person).

When a caller is redirected by this system, they get a recording saying something like "You have been re-directed to the non- emergency ____________ line. In the future, please call 911 only for situations that require police, firemen, or paramedics to actually go to your location. If you have a different kind of situation, but do not know who to call, please dial 411 for information or 0 for operator. Thank you for your cooperation." while the appropriate party is contacted. This will be in the place of the "ringing" signal. If there's no response from the party after X number of rings, a message will be left telling them to call (the caller's number) ASAP, and the caller will be given a recording asking them not to re-dial 911, but instead to either dial the number of who they were re-directed to in a few minutes, or wait for a response from them.

Dickcheney6, Jan 30 2010


       so then you can call 911 if you can't remember '0' [-]
FlyingToaster, Jan 30 2010

       The recording will TELL you to dial 0 NEXT TIME. they don't redirect you to the operator, the sets of buttons will be for the following things that people might consider an "emergency"   

       Non emergency police, non emergency fire department,(like if you need to ask them a question about something, and don't actually need them to come with the sirens on) locksmith, elevator repair, animal control, or tow truck/"emergency" auto repair. The recording will inform them that next time they should not dial 911 for this, but it will tell you that if you need, say, animal control but you don't know their number, that you should instead dial 411 for information or 0 for operator.   

       The re-direct will immediately free the dispatcher of that call, so that he/she can take on the real emergencies. And, the transfer is done by a dispatcher who has gotten such a call. The dispatcher has to determine when to redirect a caller to (fill in the blank).
Dickcheney6, Jan 31 2010

       I've called 911 a few times for non-emergencies such as reporting a driver who appears drunk, or reporting a messed-up traffic light (a windstorm twisted one of the light units at a 4-way intersection such that it would go simultaneously green in all directions). I've also called when I needed to speak to police, but without urgent need of immediate response.   

       In all cases, I've stated "This is not an emergency - could you please direct me to the local non-emergency number?" In all cases, the response has been something like "I can help you sir, but I may put you on hold without notice."   

       I believe the 911 operators already have instant-redirect capability.
Freefall, Feb 01 2010

       [Freefall], that's a nifty system they have, genius.
Germanicus, Feb 01 2010

       I would consider reporting a drunk driver a legitamate reason to call 911-although that wouldn't be "going to your location" that's reporting something to the police that would necessitate A POLICE OFFICER to be *SENT OUT* to nab them-but not for reporting a broken traffic light-that's not a police emergency. You really should dial 411 or 0 if you don't know the number for city mainenance or whoever fixes traffic lights ( and, let's be honest, who on earth keeps track of those numbers???) but sometimes the ONLY "help me" number people know is 911!   

       My idea would be beneficial to those people who don't know who to call if they have an "emergency" for someone other than police, fire or medical (fixing a broken traffic light as Freefall said) due to the fact that, upon being redirected, they get a recording saying that if they have a question for the police/fire department, or a "semi- emergency" for someone else, ("help I'm locked out of/locked in the _________," for example) but you don't know what number to call, you should dial 411 for information, or 0 for operator, not 911.   

       In the long run, this would cut down on "nuisance calls" like people asking for directions
Dickcheney6, Feb 01 2010


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