Why do dispatchers ask so many questions?

Emergency dispatchers need to get accurate information to allow emergency responders to make the best decision on how to approach the situation. Callers will typically be asked:

  • Where
  • What
  • Your phone number
  • Who
  • When
  • Why (sometimes)

One common misconception of Public Safety Communications is that Emergency Communications Officers wait until finishing the call before sending help. During a true emergency, the Emergency Communications Officers work as a team. One remains on the line with the caller and passes on information to another Emergency Communications Officer, who dispatches Police Officers, Firefighters or other emergency personnel.

It is very important that you stay on the line during a call to 911. The Emergency Communications Officer will continue to ask you questions while responders are en route.

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1. What is the non-emergency phone number?
2. Who do I call if I have a lost/missing or found animal?
3. What is smart911?
4. What is Code Red?
5. What if I call 911 by accident?
6. How do I prevent accidental 911 calls?
7. What do I do if I see a dog left inside a vehicle?
8. How to report a narcotics issue?
9. Why do dispatchers ask so many questions?
10. Do I call 911 even if it is not an emergency?