“We frequently get calls from people who don’t even know what road they’re on, much less the nearest cross-street,” Layhew said. “They’re so upset and confused by whatever’s happened that they can’t figure out their location.”
Dispatchers know the areas they serve, and can try to work with callers to pinpoint a location. Local landmarks, such as major businesses or billboards, can help. But the process takes time, and can delay the dispatch of emergency responders.
“We routinely tell people to carry emergency kits in their cars- bags with flashlights, blankets and extra water. Simply knowing your location has zero cost, and it’s something every driver can do,” Layhew said.
The Washington State Patrol is hiring Communications Officers. More information on WSP’s Communications Division can be found at: http://www.wsp.wa.gov/employment/communications.htm.
9-1-1 DISPATCHERS, America’s First Responders.