1. If I call 911 and then change my mind, should I just hang up?
You should never hang-up after dialing 911, even if you decide your call is not an emergency or you misdialed, you should stay on the phone and tell the dispatcher that. If you don't hang up, usually you can prevent an officer having to respond by simply staying on the phone and explaining what happened and answering the dispatcher's questions.
2. How does the center decide which calls are more important than others?
It is the duty and intent of the Marinette County Dispatch/911 Center to provide accurate and timely dispatch of calls for service for agencies of Marinette County. High priority calls are when there is immediate threat to person or property, and low priority calls are when there is no immediate threat to person or property. All calls for service regardless of priority shall be dispatched when the primary responder(s) is/are available.
3. Why do the people who answer the phone ask so many questions instead of just sending help?
The dispatchers are trained to ask various questions pertaining to whatever is being reported to help determine what type of units will respond and how they will respond. Asking questions does not slow down the response. Usually emergency calls are being dispatched while the call taker is still on the phone with the caller.
4. Why do non-emergency calls hold for so long sometimes?
The dispatch center handles numerous calls and at times receives several calls reporting the same incident such as an accident or fire. The dispatcher needs to answer each call as quickly as possible concentrating on emergency calls first and then the non-emergency calls. A common misconception is that we only answer 911 calls and the truth of the matter is the majority of calls are of a non-emergency nature. The dispatchers also have to field calls and page out other departments such as Coroner, Highway Department, Social Services, and wreckers.
5. Why at times does it take so long to get anyone to answer the phone?
There are many calls being answered at one time and a seroius incident that you are not aware of may be taking place, and we may need to place you on hold.
6. Should I call the dispatch center if I need information about weather, road conditions or school closings?
Although we usually have SOME of this information, we are most likely tied up with other emergency calls, and simply do not have the manpower to answer these questions completely. You will almost always get the best response by calling 5-1-1 for road conditions and tuning into local media for school closings and weather conditions.
7. I call about an ongoing problem all of the time and nothing ever gets done. Does the center just disregard some calls?
The dispatch center does not disregard any calls for service. All legitimate calls are turned over to the agency responsible for service and once this happens, the outcome is out of our control. If you have a concern about how a specific incident was/wasn't handled, you should contact the department that handled the call and speak to a supervisor.