911: Emergency or not? - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

911: Emergency or not?

By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany's 911 Emergency call center handle close to 400 calls a day, many of them from people with their life in jeopardy. But many of them are not emergencies, just a waste of time.

Every dispatcher we talked with said non-emergency calls are a daily problem. Dispatchers have to make sure those calls don't delay them from handling real emergencies, where lives are on the line.

Albany 911 Emergency dispatchers say it's part of their job every day.

One caller dialed 911 and said:  "I just want to know if the roads are clear to go to church this morning."

" Yes, we have heard it all," Dispatcher Marquette Harvey said.

Another caller told called the emergency line to say: "Well, I was actually calling to see if they will get keys. I'm locked out of my vehicle..."

 "I'd say five percent of the calls we get could be called strange and unusual," Dispatcher Marquis White said.

Everyday calls from people who think they have an emergency, like the woman who thought she was trapped in her car because the battery was dead and her door lock button would not work.

Communications Facilitator Charlotte Floyd said "She was starting to hyperventilate and obviously in a panic mode. And the operator is telling her to look over her shoulder, and can you see your door lock."

One person called 911 to ask:  "Could you tell me how to trace a restricted phone call?"

Dispatcher Marquette Harvey remembered another memorable non emergency call she received "A female called and said that a live chicken was in her backyard."

Dispatcher says: "I understand ma'am, but this is our emergency line. Can you please call our non emergency line, and we'll be more than happy to assist you."

Dispatchers are trained to direct non emergency calls to another line, and keep them clear for real emergencies.

Another caller to 911 said: "Yea, Somebody stole my candy bar from me."

When to operator asked about it, the caller said,  "Somebody stole my candy bar," and laughed.

Mistakes they understand. Joke calls to 911 are a crime.

Floyd said "Misuse and abuse of the 911 system is a class 1 misdemeanor, and it is punishable by up to a year in jail."

Each time the phone rings Dispatchers never know if it's a real emergency or not.

Another Actual 911 Call: "Somebody is breaking into my apartment."

And ready to send help where needed immediately.

Now every 911 center across South Georgia gets these same types of non-emergency calls every day.

And they have alternate phone lines that you can call for help. Here in Albany that phone number is 229-431-2132. You can check the phone book in your community for the same type of non emergency lines there.

Albany and Dougherty County Commissioners are working on installing a 311 system to answer calls and questions, to divert some of those calls off the 911 system.  But are still working on budget figures to see when it can start.

Feedback


©2009 WALB News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Police alerted to Albany bank robbery

    Police alerted to Albany bank robbery

    Monday, May 21 2018 1:04 PM EDT2018-05-21 17:04:06 GMT

    Officials say the Regions Bank on West Broad Avenue was held up, about 12:30. 

    More >>

    Officials say the Regions Bank on West Broad Avenue was held up, about 12:30. 

    More >>
  • Voting chief concerned about turnout for Primaries

    Voting chief concerned about turnout for Primaries

    Monday, May 21 2018 12:32 PM EDT2018-05-21 16:32:34 GMT
    Georgia Primary Elections are taking place May 22. Dougherty County hopes for a big turnout. (Source: WALB)Georgia Primary Elections are taking place May 22. Dougherty County hopes for a big turnout. (Source: WALB)

    The primary elections narrow the field of candidates in the same party, and frequently decide who the nominee will be in the general election.

    More >>

    The primary elections narrow the field of candidates in the same party, and frequently decide who the nominee will be in the general election.

    More >>
  • Dublin VA hosts Memorial Day program

    Dublin VA hosts Memorial Day program

    Monday, May 21 2018 11:20 AM EDT2018-05-21 15:20:36 GMT
    The Dublin VA campus (Source: V. A.)The Dublin VA campus (Source: V. A.)

    Dublin VA Medical Center will host a  Memorial Day program to give recognition and  remembrance to individuals that  defended the nation and never came back home. 

    More >>

    Dublin VA Medical Center will host a  Memorial Day program to give recognition and  remembrance to individuals that  defended the nation and never came back home. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly
<div id="CDEV-footer"> <div class="top"> <div class="search-box"> <div class="wnSearchBox" id="WNSearchBox-bottom"><form method="get" onsubmit="return wnValidateSearchTerm(this,0)" action="/Global/searchresults.asp"><span>Can't Find Something? </span><input type="text" class="wnQueryText" name="qu" size="20" value="" placeholder="Search For It Here"><input type="submit" class="wnSubmit" value="Search"></form></div> </div> <div class="station-info"> <div class="logo"><img src="http://ftpcontent.worldnow.com/wncustom/custom/walb/2015/images/walb-footer-logo.png" width="103" height="98" border="0" /></div> <div class="contact"> <div>P.O. Box 3130<br>Albany, GA 31706</div> <div>(229) 446-1010</div> </div> <div class="fcc"> <div><a href="https://publicfiles.fcc.gov/tv-profile/walb">FCC Public File</a></div> <a href="mailto:publicfile@walb.com">publicfile@walb.com</a> <div>(229) 446-4005</div> <a href="/category/232849/fcc-documents">EEO Report</a> <a href="/story/9532628/closed-captioning-on-walb">Closed Captioning</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="footer-main-nav"> <ul class="link-group"> <!--<li><a href="#">News Now Link</a></li> <li><a href="#">News Now Link</a></li> <li><a href="#">News Now Link</a></li> <li><a href="#">News Now Link</a></li>--> </ul> </div> <div class="news-link"> <ul class="link-group"> <li><a href="http://www.ktre.com/category/241993/texas-news-now">Texas News Now</a></li> </ul> </div> <div class="bottom"> <div class="copyrightText"> <a id="wnLogo" href="http://www.worldnow.com"><img src="http://ftpcontent.worldnow.com/wncorp/logos/worldnow_white.png" id="wn"></a> <div class="text"> All content &copy; Copyright 2000 - 2018 Raycom Media. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our <a href="/story/8774923/privacy-policy">Privacy Policy</a>, and <a href="/story/8775106/terms-of-service">Terms of Service</a>, and <a class="adchoice" href="//www.aboutads.info/choices" target="policy">Ad Choices</a>. </div> <div class="clear"></div> </div> </div> </div>