Erie County Commissioner of Central Police Services John Glascott is urging residents to use proper protocols when accessing the emergency 911 call system during the upcoming summer months.
In 2013, the Central Police Services Communications Division processed more than 550,000 calls to the 911 system. For non-emergencies, residents are advised to call their police agency’s seven-digit phone number.
“When you call 911, your call is answered by a civilian call taker whose first responsibility is to find out if this is an emergency; if someone is injured, if a crime is in progress [or] if there is a fire,” said Glascott.
Callers should be aware these are standard questions, Glascott said.
Over two-thirds of 911 calls in Erie County come from cell phones and are answered at a central answering point, he added. When calling from a cell phone, the caller should be sure to give the 911 call taker his or her exact location, as well as the number from which they are calling, Glascott said.
Callers to the 911 system are also reminded to be as calm and as specific as possible. It can make the process longer if the call taker is trying to understand an excited or hysterical caller, he said.