When you are hired and first trained on the 911 systems you are learning a multitude of other skills and information all at the same time. You may not have retained everything you were taught which is why it is so vitally important to review, refresh and retrain throughout your career.
Some areas that should be reviewed are ANI/ ALI and mapping. Dispatchers and even supervisors may not be verifying ALL of the information when they are processing the call. We may rely too much on the caller giving us accurate information and that might not be the case. You may be writing or typing the information they are giving you and not looking at the screen verifying that the information is correct.
Here is a refresher on some key points to keep in mind:
Know Your Lines
Knowing how to answer each line that comes into the PSAP is extremely important.
Direct 911 lines should be answered “911, WHERE is the location of your emergency?”
Indirect 911 lines should be answered “Identify your PSAP first, WHERE is the location of your emergency?”
You should be confirming every ANI/ ALI screen – Here is why… if you are not checking every ALI screen with every 911 call, you are negligent in your duty to act. When you are negligent, you risk litigious situations. If a call comes in and the address is not confirmed then the next time a call comes in at this address, it will still be wrong which could lead to you being on the hook for the liable situation and risking the life of a citizen in need of your help.
The company ID (COID) is the phone provider and can be essential information when needing to trace a call or obtain subscriber information. There are hundreds of COID, so do you know them all? What is suggested is to bookmark them so they can be easily accessed in the event of ALI failure or lack of a provided NOC number.
If you do not know your discrepancy process, you should. Anytime a call is misrouted it is important to know why. Sending a discrepancy form every time there is something not right will better the system, processing, and handling of 911 calls.
Knowing all the potential locations your cellular calls are coming from is your responsibility.
Knowing the 3 phases of wireless calls is important. Be sure not to confuse the tower information.
Are there occasions when you have relied on your mapping and it does not appear or is inaccurate?
CAD integration is a great thing but on occasion can cause some delays and issues. As a call taker, you must check and double check the address that has been imported from 911 to CAD to assure that the dispatcher will have an accurate location to send the first responder to.
Many states have disability indicators on their ALI screen. If your 911 system does not have the ability to add this information and your CAD does, it may be a good idea to have it. It can surely assist in some situations.
911 Area Code
Calls that come from a 911 area code are coming from non-provisioned cell phones and the dispatcher is unable to call it back. It might be a good idea to tell the caller right away that if you lose contact with them, you cannot call them back.
Can’t Speak Calls
There are many reasons a caller may not be able to speak and it is a good idea to have some tools available when these types of situations arise. One recommendation would be to have them press certain number to indicate a response. Ex. 1 for yes and 2 for no.
911 & TTY
TTY training and making sure you are familiar with the TTY/TDD equipment is essential. Even with training you could easily dismiss a call so making sure you are vigilant and not disconnecting a call until you have checked for a disabled call is extremely important.
Before Kari’s Law was in place, hotels and other business facilities required you to dial a 9 to get an outside line. However, with this law in place you do not have to dial a 9 to get an outside line. For more information, you can visit the website – www.nonineneeded.com