9-1-1 Callers May Get Recording

By: Lori Jane Gliha
By: Lori Jane Gliha

Jennifer Johnson expected to hear a comforting voice on the other end of the line when she called 9-1-1 to report her son was choking on a cough drop.

Instead, Johnson got a recording telling her to wait on the line while operators tended to callers ahead of her.

Three dispatchers handled 343 9-1-1 calls the day Johnson's son choked, and though her son ended up okay, Johnson says she should not have had to wait on hold during her emergency.

Police communication officers say the average time callers had to wait to talk to an operator during the month of February was only 10 seconds, and they say callers should wait on the line for medical assistance and instructions if they cannot talk to an operator right away.

Johnson hung up the phone when a dispatcher didn't answer after 11 seconds, but police called her back 20 minutes later to make sure everything was okay.

Dispatchers say when a caller hangs up they lose their priority, and it takes longer for a dispatcher to return their call.


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