Ask a Dispatcher
Q. Do dispatchers have generic questions ?
Dear Juneau Resident,
The 911 dispatchers answer the phone with 'What is your emergency?' The next question, if not volunteered, will be, 'Where is the emergency?' This is an important early question because if someone is cut off, someone grabs the phone from them, etc...JPD officers will know where to start. Then the dispatcher is going to ask for details about what is happening so he or she can send the right type of help. The dispatcher will want to know if you or someone else is injured. They will want to know who you are (including date of birth and re-contact information like a cell phone or home phone number). The rest of the questions, which may be mixed in with the list above, will be driven by the specifics of the first couple of answers. You may be asked questions about someone's breathing or rate of bleeding, weapons, landmarks to help find you, and who is there and what are they doing.
Often when one dispatcher is talking to the caller, another dispatcher is sending police officers, fire response, or medical response. The caller may not hear those dispatches. If the other one or two dispatchers on duty are busy with another call, the questioning dispatcher may have to ask the caller to wait on the line while police and fire are dispatched and updated with information coming in from the caller.