E-911 Central Dispatch
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Arenac County Central Dispatch is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.Emergency calls for Police, Fire or Ambulance services are received and dispatched through the center.The center is equipped with 3 fully functional dispatch positions that are capable of receiving wire line and wireless 911 calls.Equipment at each position is capable of mapping the location of Phase II enabled wireless 911 calls.
Within their first 3 to 4 months of employment, dispatchers receive extensive initial training which consists (in part) of:
- A minimum of 720 hours of initial "on the job" training, under the direct supervision of a certified Communications Training Officer (CTO).
- A minimum of 40 hours of formal Basic Dispatcher Training through a program certified by the State 911 Committee (SNC).
- A minim of 8 hours of formal training by the Michigan Law Enforcement Information Network.
- Training in all areas of Arenac County Central Dispatch Policy and Procedures.
- State required Security Awareness Training.
- Federally required Incident Management Training.
In addition to the initial training, all dispatchers must complete annual Continuing Education through programs certified by the State 911 Committee in the areas of:
- Telecommunicator Roles and Responsibilities
- Legal Aspects
- Interpersonal Communications
- Public Safety Technologies
- Telephone Techniques
- Call Classification
- Radio Communications
- Stress Management
- Domestic Violence
- Suicide Intervention
- 9-1-1 Liability
- Stress Management
- Homeland Security Elective â€“ SNC and FEMA approved course that relates to telecommunication
Unused Cell Phones
Never give an unused cell phone to a child to use as a toy.Always remove the batteries and memory card from any unused cell phone that does not have activated service.These "non-initialized" phones are still capable of calling 911, even when they are not enabled for making any other calls.Children who are given these phones to use as a toy frequently manage to dial 911 by randomly pressing buttons or by mimicking what they are taught about making emergency calls.
Never assume that a 911 center can receive a text message.Very few 911 centers are capable of receiving text messaging, and those that can are mostly on an experimental basis at this time.The state of Michigan has commissioned a feasibility study to convert the 911 call routing infrastructure to an Internet Protocol based system that could accommodate reception of text messaging by 911 centers state wide.But if the conversion is made it will be a long term project.
Hearing and Speech Impared Callers-Dial 911
In the recent past many hearing and speech impaired individuals used a device called at TDD (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) or a TTY (Teletypewriter).Both terms refer to the same device.These devices have the ability to communicate text messaging type printed message over wire line and wireless phone systems and they are capable of being received by Arenac County Central Dispatch.Users of these devices have abandoned them in recent years in favor of much more versatile cell phones with text messaging capability, and were not aware that their 911 call centers were not capable of receiving their emergency calls via cell phone text message.If you are a hearing or speech impaired individual and are not capable of voice communication via telephone, your only means to directly communicate with Arenac County Central Dispatch is by the use of a TDD.You may also use the services of the Michigan Relay Center.The Michigan Relay Center is staffed 24/7 and they have call takers trained in assisting hearing or speech impaired emergency callers.They will communicate with you and relay information to and from the appropriate 911 Dispatch Center anywhere in the state of Michigan.To call using the services of the Relay Center dial 711.
Making an Emergency 911 Call
Cell phone 911 calls â€“ A 911 call from a cell phone will be routed to the 911 center that has jurisdiction at the cell phone tower location.For that reason your 911 call may not be received at the appropriate 911 center.If you happen to be near the Arenac / Ogemaw County line and dial 911 from your cell phone, a cell tower in Ogemaw County may handle your call and route it to the 911 Center in West Branch.When the call taker determines that the incident you want to report is in Arenac County they will transfer your call to Arenac County Central Dispatch.
Wire Line 911 calls â€“ Most all wire line 911 calls will be received at the 911 center that has jurisdiction at the location of the call.Infrequently your call may route to the wrong center due to addressing inconsistencies.It is helpful to identify these "miss-routes" when the callers know what village or township they live in, and what cross streets or roads are near their address.
Voice over Internet (VoIP) phones â€“ A newer technology becoming available for telephone service is Voice over Internet, or VoIP.These services allow callers to make and receive calls over their PC's using the internet.These calls are capable of being received at 911 centers.Subscribers to VoIP service should make a "test" 911 call after their service is activated to verify that their 911 calls will route to the correct 911 center and that the correct name and address is being received by the 911 center.Just dial 911 and tell the call taker that you are making a 911 test call. The call taker will ask for verifying information and will report problems to be corrected as necessary.
Other Newer Technologies â€“ The increase in new communications technologies and devices is rapidly growing.GM's OnStar Â® and other similar services are now accessing 911 dispatch centers directly.Several companies offer emergency medical assistance devices that can be worn by individuals who may become disabled before being able to reach a telephone to make an emergency 911 call.Other companies are offering devices that can be worn by disabled children or dementia patients that are capable of sending their GPS coordinates to locate them in the event that they become lost or disoriented.Some of these companies are making unfounded claims that 911 call centers can access these devices directly via electronic means to locate these individuals in an emergency.You would be well advised to contact your 911 center to verify the "claimed" capabilities of these devices to avoid unrealistic expectations in event of an emergency.
Emergency Medical Calls â€“ In Arenac County, if you call 911 for an ambulance the call taker will get some preliminary information and then transfer your call to the Mobile Medical Response (MMR) dispatch center in Saginaw.You will be instructed to stay on the line to provide further information to MMR Dispatch.
General Information Applicable on any Emergency Call â€“ Callers reporting an emergency situation may become quite excited due to the nature of the incident they are reporting.Try to remain calm while listening to and answering the questions the dispatcher is asking.The dispatcher will best know the information they need in order to send the appropriate response quickly.If left to speak uninterrupted, many excited callers will go to great length and detail in describing how an accident occurred.Although this information is quite useful to a police investigator, after the injured have been cared for, it is of little use to the 911 dispatcher who must determine where the accident is located and what resources must be dispatched, which could include multiple police units, ambulance units, fire departments for extrication of trapped occupants or fire control if there is a fuel spill, etc.In an emergency, try to hear and answer the dispatcher's questions.They will want the location of the emergency, the type of emergency, and they will get the appropriate emergency services dispatched, and then they may follow up with further details as necessary.
All callers are advised to never subject themselves to danger while reporting an emergency. Do not dial 911 and leave the call open without speaking, in hopes that the call taker will hear the emergency and "figure out" where the emergency is and what response is necessary, unless being identified as placing a 911 emergency call would subject you to additional danger (such as reporting a hostage situation or other dangerous crime in progress).