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Albany 911 Operators send a message

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

January 5, 2009

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -  Albany 911 operators are changing their standard message to emergency callers, to let them know first responders are being dispatched even as the operators ask questions.

Officials want to assure callers that the operators questions are not keeping them from dispatching first responders.

Telecommunicator Marquis White said "Albany 911, what is your emergency?"

Albany 911 officials say many people don't know how their emergency dispatch system works, so they're standardizing their information to help you know first responders have been dispatched.

White said "We are going to go ahead and get the ambulance on the way. I have a few more questions to ask you though."

Many people have complained that they think the 911 operators are not sending out first responders while asking questions, but officials want you to know another dispatcher is handing that while you talk with the operator.

 Albany 911 Interim Director Charlotte Floyd said "The call is actually going out as the call taker is speaking with you and asking you more questions."

Many emergency callers get angry during the questioning process, and think that is delaying first responders. 911 officials want you to know those questions are not slowing the start of the first responders.   And the information will help them when they arrive.

 Floyd said "Any information we can give that EMT before he arrives on the scene, is just vital information to him before that ambulance arrives, so they will know what to do."

911 officials say they know most people calling for help are distressed, but say their questions will not delay first responders, but will actually help them when they arrive on the scene giving the fastest help possible.

The operators have been trained to now give this information to emergency callers, to calm them and help first responders in their response.

911 operators are trained to tell emergency callers to put up dogs that might be in the house before first responders arrive and to gather all medicines that an emergency victim has been taking so they can be examined.

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