You may be in the midst of a chaotic moment, a health crisis, or even worse and the three numbers that come to mind to call in the emergency are 9-1-1. The people answering the phones are highly trained professionals who may calmly give direction on what to do, or perhaps give life-saving instructions. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) honors the brave men and women you do not see who are behind the scenes. National Public Safety Telecommunicators week is April 13 – 19 and it is a chance to give thanks to the men and women on the other end of a 9-1-1 call.
“I am very proud of our dedicated professionals and the services they provide the public every single day,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “In addition to assisting the public, they help our officers out in the field by providing valuable resources, so that officers can get the job done out there on the front lines.”
The CHP has 25 communications dispatch centers statewide that employ nearly 900 public safety dispatchers. Last year these employees were responsible for handling approximately 8.9 million calls for service. Calling 9-1-1 can be intimidating. The following tips help callers during an emergency.
No matter what happens – stay calm.
Be prepared to provide your name, phone number, address or location, and a detailed description of the incident or vehicle being reported.
Let the dispatcher guide the conversation.
Wait for the dispatcher to ask questions, and then answer clearly and calmly.
Listen carefully and follow all directions provided by the dispatcher.
Be prepared to provide a physical description if the emergency involves a criminal suspect.
Cellular telephones may not tell the call-taker where you are. Use a landline to report an emergency whenever possible.
Remember, 9-1-1 is for life-threatening emergencies. Misuse of the emergency 9-1-1 system will result in a delay for callers with real emergencies and is punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000.
“We honor all public safety communications professionals by recognizing their contributions and the positive impact they have on thousands of lives every day,” added Commissioner Farrow.
The mission of the California Highway Patrol is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security to the people of California.