Dis­patch­ers join forces to an­swer calls

Record Observer - - News -

CEN­TRE­VILLE — Emer­gency dis­patch­ers on the Mid-Shore are join­ing ranks to en­sure that 911 call­ers do not get a busy sig­nal; in­stead over­flow calls will roll over to an­other trained dis­patcher in a neigh­bor­ing county to make sure that all calls are an­swered by a pro­fes­sional.

“About 70 per­cent of 911 calls come in via cell phones,” said Di­rec­tor Queen Anne’s County De­part­ment of Emer­gency Ser­vices Scott Haas. “To­day, af­ter six 911 cell phone lines are in use, the caller gets a busy sig­nal. Our part­ner­ship with Kent, Caro­line, Tal­bot and Dorch­ester coun­ties will elim­i­nate that prob­lem.”

This will be par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant when there are si­mul­ta­ne­ous emer­gen­cies. For ex­am­ple, if there is a car ac­ci­dent on U.S. Route 50 with mul­ti­ple wit­nesses call­ing 911, while else­where in the county some­one is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing heart at­tack symp­toms and some­one else is hurt in a farm­ing ac­ci­dent.

Pre­vi­ously, the sev­enth caller would get a busy sig­nal. Now that caller will be routed to a dis­patcher at a neigh­bor­ing emer­gency ser­vices cen­ter.

All Mid-Shore dis­patch­ers are trained in life safety in­struc­tions, such as guid­ing some­one through the steps for CPR, con­trol­ling bleed­ing and even child­birth.

“The mes­sage I re­ally want to send to the pub­lic is that if you dial 911 and the call is an­swered by an­other county — do not hang up,” said Haas. “We are work­ing to­gether and help is on the way.”

Un­der the new part­ner­ship, dis­patch­ers can al­lo­cate re­sources through­out the Mid-Shore.

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