Dispatchers never know what the next call will bring. It could be an armed robbery; an infant not breathing; a house on fire; a vehicle accident with injuries, or a minor noise complaint. Dispatchers are trained to obtain information and dispatch help for any emergency.
Why do dispatchers ask so many questions?
Emergency dispatchers need to get accurate information to allow responders to make the best decision on how to approach the situation. Bartow Police Department Telecommunication Division dispatches Police, Fire and Utilities. Two dispatchers are always working together to gather information and dispatch assistance. While one dispatcher is asking very specific questions, the other dispatcher is already sending out help. You will be asked a series of questions that will help determine the response of the units responding to the call. The responding units will be more prepared to help with the information you have provided.
You may be asked the following:
Do you need fire, ambulance or police?
What is happening?
What number are you calling from?
What is the address where this occurred or is occurring?
Who is involved?
Are there weapons involved?
When did it occur?
Do you want contact? On some incidents you may remain anonymous, therefor you would decline contact.
When should I call 9-1-1?
Crimes that are in progress, fire and incidents that threaten life, health, and property require emergency assistance. If there is no emergency, you may contact Bartow Police Department on the non-emergency line at 863-534-5034.
What if I call 9-1-1 accidentally?
If you accidentally dial 911, do not hang up. Stay on the line and tell the dispatcher that everything is alright. If you hang up the phone without an explanation, the dispatcher will assume something is wrong, and a patrol officer will be dispatched to your location.
Teach your children how to call 9-1-1.
Show your child how to dial from your home telephone as well as your cell phone, and to trust the 9-1-1 call taker. Make sure your child is physically able to reach at least one phone in your home. When calling 9-1-1 your child needs to know their name, parent’s name, telephone number, and most importantly their address. Tell them to answer all the call takers questions and to stay on the phone until instructed to hang up.