Ways To Cut Down On 911 Abuse

| Monday, October 8, 2012
By Juliette Cruz

911 is earmarked for emergencies and really shouldn't be taken advantage of for use with problems which may be handled in other ways. When there are calls being made to 911 that are not true emergencies this is deemed 911 abuse and can cause the entire system to become flawed.

Fire, police and medical are all dispatched from the standard emergency 911 call. When a call is made to the emergency system the dispatcher ask questions of the caller in order to determine the severity of the call and what services are needed. If the call is determined to not be an emergency, the dispatcher still must send the appropriate services, even though they probably won't be the first priority.

When the services are increasingly getting used in a non-emergency way, emergency personnel get taken from other calls that maybe life threatening. For this reason "prank calls" as well as false fire security alarm pulling makes this sort of problem worse.

A dispatcher doesn't have any way of knowing what is going on when a fire alarm has been pulled. If kids pulled the prank they're not on the scene and have no knowledge that it was a prank. Then they have fire department trucks running after false alarms wasting time and resources. Then what is going to happen if someone is experiencing a real emergency at that time? It will take longer before there will be anyone to help in the real emergency.

If everyone refrains from using 911 for anything that crops up, these issues can be avoided. The truth behind this is that bad things can happen while someone is waiting for emergency services. People can lose their lives or their homes while they wait for help.

Not only is it detrimental to public safety when these resources are used unnecessarily, it is expensive. It costs approximately $400.00 to send out a fire truck on a false alarm. It is not much of a joke when a parent gets the bill for their child pulling a fire alarm unnecessarily.

If someone is severely injured or has a real health problem an ambulance is a necessity. But if the subject can be safely taken to a health care facility in a private car then it is probably not a necessity. If a legal issue can wait and is not life threatening or an emergency let the police come out when they have sufficient backing. Any fire that is out of control is a need for concern and must be addressed by professionals.

We need to address the issue of 911 abuse and do what we can to get it under control. There is a lot of time and money being wasted on false alarms and non-emergency calls. Only call 911 when it is necessary to keep the emergency vehicles and personnel were they are needed. Don't use 911 unless it is a necessity and you have no other choice.

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