Dispatchers join forces to answer calls
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.