911 supervisor gives behind-the-scenes insight to emergency disp - WNEM TV 5

911 supervisor gives behind-the-scenes insight to emergency dispatch

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BAY COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

In a crisis, every second counts.

You call 911 for help, and it's on its way.

“Hesitation sometimes can make a big difference in a response,” said Chancellor Cody Smith.

Smith, supervisor of Bay County 9-1-1 spoke at the Bay Area Chamber Breakfast on Tuesday about what actually happens behind the scenes when you call 911.

“When you call 911 you're in the middle of a crisis,” Smith said. “Our job is, we're trained to capture the information, assess the information and what's going on and try to get you help as soon as we can.”

Smith said one common mistake people make when calling 911 is that they don't.

Even if the call is not an immediate emergency, he said, if the inkling to call is there, do it.

“People see things, they get a feeling in their gut, or a lot of people, on the way to work in the morning, see something suspicious, and they call when they get home,” Smith said. “Well, there's not much we can do about that.”

When there is an emergency, you reach for a cell phone to call 911. But Smith said to put the phone down, and use a landline if you can.

“The landline information will populate on our machines immediately,” Smith said. “We still have to verify all information, but it's just that much quicker we can see visibly where you're calling from.”

When you call, say for a medical emergency, the person at the other end is trained to ask you detailed questions about your situation.

Smith said often callers are frustrated because they think help isn't coming, but that's not the case

“I may be taking the information but also signaling another partner in the dispatch room to send help immediately while I continue to get that information,” Smith said.

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