h a l f b a k e r y
The word "How?" springs to mind at this point.
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It seems that some people just don't know what 911 should really
called for. It's for if you need police, fire, or medical staff to
to your location* NOT for asking something like "is it safe to do
________________" or "my fire alarm keeps beeping once a
what does that mean".
This is a waste of time for the operators
could be saving someones life instead of explaining to someone
to call the non-emergency line so that they can ask the police or
department a legit question.
I believe that 911 operators should have 2 buttons, which are both
pushed simultaneously to prevent accidental activation, to
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
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
situations that require police, firemen, or paramedics to actually
to your location. If you have a different kind of situation, but do
know who to call, please dial 411 for information or 0 for
Thank you for your cooperation." while the appropriate party is
contacted. This will be in the place of the "ringing" signal. If
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
will be given a recording asking them not to re-dial 911, but
to either dial the number of who they were re-directed to in a few
minutes, or wait for a response from them.
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||so then you can call 911 if you can't remember '0' [-]
||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
||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
locksmith, elevator repair, animal control, or tow
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).
||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], that's a nifty system they have, genius.
||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