How To Talk With 911 Dispatchers When Minutes Count - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

How To Talk With 911 Dispatchers When Minutes Count

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When a crisis strikes, every minute counts and so do the details.

Richmond County 911 dispatchers are on the front line of defense when it comes to sending responders to the rescue and saving lives. But, the way you give information could be the difference between life and death.

Richmond County 911 Center director Dominick Nutter explains, "getting that information in a clear and concise manner is important not only for the 911 dispatcher but also for the responder so they are advised of exactly what's going on and have as much information as possible."

The best example of that came earlier this week when a gunman walked into an Atlanta-area school armed with an AK-47 and 500 rounds of ammunition. The school's bookkeeper calmly called 9-1-1 and demonstrated great precision in relaying exactly what was happening and the gunman's message.

Nutter says it's important that callers stay alert and be aware of the surroundings. "Any details that you can give of anything you notice, any mannerisms, can be very important for the dispatcher to relay on to the first responders en route," he adds.

Augusta-Richmond County dispatchers are given extensive training in dealing with volatile situations. But, staying calm as a caller can yield the best outcome. Nutter says, "As people are going along a situation can start very calm and things can escalate or the caller will continue getting worked up. So, what you try to do is keep it at a level pace and try to continue keeping the caller calm."

It's also important to provide as much information as possible like addresses and concise descriptions when calling 911.

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