The Ohio County 911 Central Dispatch Center answers 911 and non-emergency calls around-the-clock. Telecommunicators dispatch police, fire, ems, and animal control for all of Ohio County. Dispatch personnel are also responsible for entering and maintaining records in to the national crime data base, NCIC (National Crime Information Center). These records include wanted and missing persons, stolen vehicles and property, and domestic violence orders.
When a call is received by the Dispatch Center either via 911 or on a non-emergency line, the telecommunicator enters the information into the CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) system. The information is then prioritized for dispatching.
The Center is equipped with the latest technology in order to maintain Ohio County’s commitment to quality service. The main components include Enhanced 911, Computer Aided Dispatch with mapping, a sophisticated radio system, and a computerized telephone system which includes a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD).
Enhanced 911 (E-911) provides Communications Center personnel with immediate address information on a land line caller. This information is critical in providing immediate emergency services to citizens in need.
The system allows telecommunicators to record that information immediately in case the caller hangs up before the necessary information has been gathered. If that happens, the telecommunicator can call the person back. If there is no answer, a law enforcement officer is sent to the address to investigate.
If you call 911 in error, please do not hang up. Stay on the line and explain your situation.
It is important that citizens use 911 for emergency calls. Non-emergency calls are handled by calling 270-298-4411.
Ohio County’s wireless 911 capability utilizes equipment, mapping and works with cell phone companies to pinpoint a caller’s location. The purpose is to quickly get help to the right place during an emergency.
Computer Aided Dispatch
A program called Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) assists with the efficient handling of requests for emergency services. The system recognizes different call types that require the dispatch of special equipment, provides information on hazards that may be present, and provides for special information and call history. Numerous statistical reports are provided to assist management in the proper allocation and scheduling of public safety personnel.
Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD)
This device allows callers with hearing disabilities to seek emergency assistance without delay. Callers can access the Dispatch Center by typing a request which telecommunicators receive and respond to by typing replies.
When should you call 911?
Calls to 911 should be reserved for emergencies such as:
Any crime in-progress (robbery, burglary, prowler, fights, etc)
A serious medical emergency (chest pains, seizures, bleeding, etc.)
Any other life threatening situations (traffic accident with injuries, etc.)
Any type of fire (structure, vehicle, brush, etc.)
What happens when you call 911?
In order to correctly assess the situation for a prioritized response, you will be asked certain questions which are vital to the safety of the caller and the responding personnel.
When you call 911, the telecommunicator is automatically provided with the phone number and the location that you are calling from. You will be asked to verify this information since quite often individuals call 911 from locations other than where the incident is occurring. If you call 911 from a cell phone, it is very important that you provide the location to the telecommunicator when using a cell phone.
The telecommunicator will ask you what your emergency is. At this point, you should give a quick description of what occurred. Then you will be asked a series of questions which are extremely important to the proper handling of the call. These may include:
Is anyone injured?
How long ago did the incident occur?
Were there any weapons involved and if so, what type?
Did the suspect flee, and if so, which direction?
What was the mode of transportation, a car, bike, or on foot?
If a vehicle was involved, what is the description and direction of travel?
What was the physical description of the suspect?
What was the clothing description?
Although these may seem like an unreasonable number of questions during an emergency, they are very important to emergency personnel.
One common misconception of 911 Dispatch Centers is that the telecommunicators wait until finishing the call before sending help. During a true emergency, the telecommunicators work as a team. One remains on the line with the caller and passes on information to another telecommunicator, who dispatches Law Enforcement, Firefighters, or EMS.
It is very important that you stay on the line during a call to 911. The telecommunicator will continue to ask you questions while emergency personnel are enroute.
What should I do if I call 911 by mistake?
If you call 911 by mistake, DO NOT HANG UP. Stay on the line and explain that you do not actually have an emergency. If a caller to 911 hangs up without stating the problem, the caller may be contacted in order to ensure that no actual emergency exists. This may involve the dispatching of law enforcement to your home or place of business to confirm that a problem does not exist.
Pocket dialing from cell phone
The Dispatch Center receives numerous accidental 911 calls from cell phones that are in a person’s pocket or purse. To prevent this from happening, you may need to take your phone to your wireless provider to get assistance on resolving this problem. Often times, simply taking your phone off of screen-lock will take care of the problem.
If I need the police, but it’s not an emergency, what number do I call?
For calls of a non-emergency nature, please call the Dispatch Center at 270-298-4411. Examples of such calls are:
Traffic accidents which do not involve injuries
Loud music or barking dogs
Late reported incidents such as a theft with no suspect information