How to Get Faster Help From 911

By: Rachel Yonkunas Email
By: Rachel Yonkunas Email

(DISPATCHER): Cleveland 9-1-1
(AMANDA BERRY): Amanda Berry: Hello police. Help me. I'm Amanda Berry.
(DISPATCH) "Ok and what's your address?"

It’s the chilling 911 call from Amanda Berry—the missing girl who escaped captivity after 10 years. Her desperate plea for help is something Pam Lowe hopes she never has to hear. However, when she does get that call, an address is the very first thing she needs.

“The first thing you should say when you call 911 in an emergency is where you are. An exact location,” stated Lowe, a dispatch supervisor for Houston County.

If police do not know where you are, they cannot send help.

The second thing you should give is your name and a call-back number in case you get disconnected. Then, try to stay calm.

“I think you should remain calm. As calm as you can, give them the information that they need, and be patient,” suggested Candace Fairer, a Dothan Resident.

If you do make that call, one of the most important things you can do is to listen carefully. Otherwise, you may actually delay response time,

Lowe explained, “If we do keep repeating ourselves about the same question, it’s because we can't get that information out of the caller or they want to go around the vitals of the information we need.”

Dispatchers multitask. They immediately pass along your whereabouts to law enforcement.

“This is all done and the caller is not aware of that. What we want to do, we already have somebody heading out there, we want to get as much information as possible,” said Lowe.

Dispatchers are trained to ask specific questions. Let them be your lifeline.


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