CRESA Always Here, Always Ready

A 9-1-1 Calling Guide ( A Pandemic Version)

Calling 9-1-1 is serious business.  We want you to call 9-1-1 to receive help for emergencies, potential emergencies, or if you are not sure it is an emergency. However, if you have never had to call 9-1-1, you may be asking;

  • What happens when you call for help?
  • What should you say?
  • What does the person on the other line need to know?
  • What if you forget something?

Dispatchers are trained to pull and assess information from a caller. Expect them to guide you with questions.  They know what information they need to get first in order to ensure the right type of help arrives in a timely manner, and the best way to get the assistance you need is to answer the questions in the order they ask them.    It takes an average of 24 seconds and as long as 60 seconds sometimes JUST to confirm the location where help is needed.   Our best advice is to try to stay calm and listen and answer the questions dispatchers ask, and Know Your Location!

Here’s a quick guide to help us help You:

Let the dispatcher know what is happening. Is there a crime in progress? Is there a fire?  Does someone need medical help? This information lets our dispatchers know what type of help you need.

We want to know where the situation is occurring. Knowing your Location is critical in getting the right help to you as quickly as we can.  Provide an exact address if you know it and don’t forget the floor and apartment number if you are in a building.  Unsure of where you are?  A nearby intersection or landmark will help.  

When did the incident occur? It is important to know if this is an active situation so our dispatchers can prepare the first responders to know what to expect.

Let us know who is involved. We want to know if it is a family member, someone you know, or a stranger.  It also helps to know if there are multiple people involved and who they are.

If a weapon was used then let us know. Telling a dispatcher about weapons helps keep the public and first responders safe.

Tell us if anyone is injured. If someone is hurt, our dispatchers will ask you a series of questions to determine what type of care is needed.  Our dispatchers are also trained to provide medical instruction until a medic arrives.

If you speak another language or dialect tell us right away. At the push of a button, we can connect to a translator.  CRESA has translated 9-1-1 calls in more than 170 languages.  

Text to 9-1-1 is also available if it is unsafe for you to make a voice call or for individuals with hearing impairments.  Do Not use Emojis and be sure to share your location and the nature of your emergency in the first texts you send.  Remember to Call if You Can, Text if You Can’t!

COVID-19:

You may notice if you have called recently that we have started asking some additional questions pertaining to Covid-19.  We are asking these questions for every call where a responder may have the opportunity to make contact with you.

In order to keep both our citizens and responders safe, we are doing everything we can to minimize exposure and to prevent our responders from having to quarantine which could cause drastic shortages in staffing.  Doing this allows us to inform our responders that additional protective measures should be taken in order to minimize exposure.

Here are the questions you can expect to hear:

1.   Has s/he had contact with someone who has or thought to have the Coronavirus?  We are trying to figure out if you, the subject or the patient has been in contact with someone who may have or was thought to have Covid-19.

2. Is there anyone at the location who has been diagnosed with or is quarantining for Covid-19?  We are asking this to determine the length of time since diagnosis or when the quarantine process started to help us determine risk.

3. Does s/he have any flu or Covid-19 like symptoms?  This would include the following:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of taste or smell

You will also notice that we have started asking people to meet responders at the door or at the front of the facility when they arrive if it is safe to do so.  Since we know that avoiding being in close quarters with those outside our circle can also minimize our risk of exposure, you may be asked to do so.

It is important to remember the type of response is based on the emergency.  CRESA’s 9-1-1 call center receives more than 1,000 calls per day.  Not every call can or should involve emergency units traveling at high speeds with lights flashing and sirens blaring.  This type of response comes with inherent risk for the public and the first responders, but is rightly reserved for life-threatening emergencies.  Consider using 3-1-1 if your call is not an urgent life and safety call. (More on 3-1-1 Coming tomorrow)  

We hope you rarely have to call 9-1-1.  But if you, or someone else is experiencing an emergency, then keep these tips in mind.  Our 9-1-1 dispatchers will help you get the help that you need in a timely manner.  We appreciate your patience and cooperation as we work to keep one another safe.

Clark County

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