I am sure that every 911 dispatcher and call taker has their particular list of “pet peeves” – those things that happen, day in and day out, that make you grind your teeth in frustration, or make you want to bang you forehead on your console. I haven’t been a call taker/dispatcher for very long, but I have already compiled my own list of 911 dispatcher pet peeves.
Here are my 911 dispatcher pet peeves, just FYI:
- Letting small children play with your phone – it’s not a toy! They have these things, they are made of plastic or wood, they are bright colors and they are made for children to play with – I think they are called “toys.” And they do NOT call 911! What, you think it’s so cute when your little tyke plays with your phone? It won’t be nearly so cute when I lat/long your location, and send an officer to take your phone away from your kid because we’ve received 47 emergency calls from your phone.
- Calling 911 from a cell phone with an emergency, but not knowing where you are located – try looking for a street sign, business name, etc. There is nothing more frustrating for me than wanting to send help to you, but having no idea where to send it. Stop and think, then dial.
- Talking to someone in the background while I am asking questions – Really? You called 911, and now you think you have to talk to your momma, your sister, your boyfriend, your neighbor, your kids, etc. I need your attention right now! If you want an immediate response you need to answer my questions. And stop yelling at the ex-boyfriend that you’re fighting with – you’re only making it worse. Get away from him, and stop “engaging” – go back to yelling at each other AFTER you hang up with me.
- Let me LEAD! – By this, I mean let me ask the questions. Think of it like a dance; I need to lead, and you need to follow. Don’t try to anticipate what I will ask, and don’t “vomit” information at me. Wait until I ask for a piece of information, then offer it. I have a certain order to the information I give the officers/medics; they like it that way, and it makes things easier for everyone. So quit trying to drive this train; that’s my job at the moment.
Ok, rant is over. I feel better, now that have shared my list of 911 pet peeves. We return you to your regularly scheduled blog. 🙂