Dallas’s 911 system is the subject of several on-going Texas wrongful death investigations because of mistakes made by emergency dispatchers. However, many times 911 mistakes can be prevented if the person making the call gives clear and accurate information.
During an emergency, it is easy to feel stressed and overwhelmed. While 911 call-takers are trained to guide upset or panicking callers through the phone call and obtain information, knowing what to expect and how to respond in advance can help you give the 911 dispatcher the information needed to send the right assistance to the right place in a timely manner.
- Try to remain calm. If it is a true emergency, it may be hard not to panic. Take a deep breath and focus on giving information to the dispatcher.
- Know your location. This is especially important if you are calling from a cell phone as a cell does not give your location. The dispatcher may ask your location several times. Don’t get frustrated. People often give the wrong information when they are upset and this is a standard way of double checking information.
- If you reach a recording, listen to the directions. Hold if you are told to hold. If you hang up, you will lose your place in the queue.
- Let the dispatcher know if you are in danger.
- Answer the dispatcher’s questions. It may seem that things are taking too long, but the dispatcher is typing the information needed to get you help as you talk. Try to be patient. Help may already be on its way.
- Follow the dispatcher’s directions. Listen carefully and follow the directions step by step. Ask for an explanation if there is something that you don’t understand.
- Don’t hang up. You may hear clicking, but stay on the line until help arrives or the dispatcher tells you to hang up.
The 911 system exists to help in an emergency. When dispatchers are negligent or make mistakes, the consequences can be fatal. If you have lost a loved one to a 911 error in Dallas, please contact the Dallas wrongful death attorneys at the Rasansky Law Firm at 1-877-405-4313.