April 12-18, 2015 is National Public Safety Telecommunications Week, dedicated to recognizing the important work of telecommunicators across Canada, including 911 operators.
In Nova Scotia, 911 operators answer an average of 650 calls every day, and of those calls, over 400 are requests for ambulance, police and fire service.
911 operators collect the necessary information and then quickly dispatch the required services.
‘When you’re facing an emergency situation, hearing the calm, professional voice on the other end of the phone is reassurance that help will soon be on its way,’ says S/Sgt. Gavin Nash, Acting Officer in Charge of the Nova Scotia RCMP Operational Communications Centre. ‘For first responders on scene, the 911 operators are an invaluable resource and this week is a great opportunity for us to not only thank them, but also remind citizens how to use 911 properly. It may be the most important call a person makes.’
The Nova Scotia RCMP Operational Communications Centre receives close to 150 non-emergency, nuisance and abandoned calls daily calls which translates into time that could be spent handling real emergencies.
To use the 911 system properly, please consider the following:
· Only call 911 if someone’s health, safety, or property is in jeopardy or if a crime is in progress.
· If you call 911 accidentally, stay on the line and let the operator know
· Don’t program 911 into any phone.
· Lock and store your cell phone carefully to prevent 911 ‘pocket dials’
· Use the non-emergency phone numbers for your local RCMP or municipal police detachment.