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What Do You Need When Calling 911

Tom Freimann

Many people do not know that when calling 911 in Mesa County, you need to be able to remain calm and to help the Communications Technician get you the correct help you need as fast as possible. Here are some of the important tips to help you out from the GJPD Insider program.

First and most importantly is to know the address of where you are at. Many people grab the cell phone to make the call to the Regional Communication Center but they do not realize that cell phones do not tell the call taker where you are calling from. A land line phone in the home will give the dispatcher the address that the phone is registered to, and the dispatcher will still ask and verify what address you are calling from. If you have minors in the house, teach them to use the home phone if they should ever need to call 911. This way the call taker will know exactly where to send the needed help, even if the caller freezes up. If you are unable to speak, you should also be sure to use the home phone. If a call is made to 911, and no one speaks, help will be sent out to investigate the issue.

Secondly, the people at 911 want to make sure you are making the call safely and that there will not be more injuries to you or to the first responders. Make sure the scene is safe and secure, or if you see an accident and call to report it, that you are pulled off of the road to be able to concentrate on the questions that you will be asked, such as locations, who or what is involved, is anyone injured, and fire or smoke, etc.Usually there are multiple calls made in the case of an accident, so the dispatchers will work together to keep only a person involved or on the scene on the line and not keep all of the lines busy.

The people that work at the Grand Junction Regional call center have some amazing technology available and are trained to give basic First Aid and CPR instructions if needed. Please be sure to stay calm and listen to all of the questions you are asked and to answer the questions complete and clearly. The program that they use will automatically guide the call taker to ask the correct questions based on your answers. The system automatically has another dispatcher getting the correct personal sent out to you while you are answering questions, so do not think that they are wasting time asking you questions instead of sending help to you, it is all being done at once, and the correct information is being transferred to the responders via their computers located in the their vehicles.That way when they arrive, they are already aware of what they need to handle and have the correct equipment with them.

And finally, please stay on the line so that any changes can be relayed to the responders or if you need to be given further instructions to help the situation, you at still there to assist if needed.Only hang up once the help has arrived. Be sure to teach your children all of this information also, in case something happens to the adult, the child as young as 2 can still get you emergency help if needed.

For more information on this or other things happening with the Grand Junction Police Department, including the 911 Regional Communications Center, visit the GJPD Blog.

Here are some images of the systems that 911 uses to assist you when you call in.

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