As 911 Education Month comes to a close, dispatchers want you to know it’s OK to accidentally call the emergency number, but there are some specific steps to take if you do so.
“If you inadvertently call 911- it’s OK- but please stay on the phone,” Butler County 911 Coordinator Rob McLafferty said in an interview with Butler Radio. “What’s not OK is when folks hang up the phone, and then they don’t answer when our dispatchers call them back. Then we don’t know what’s going on, and we’re going to try to get help to you.”
McLafferty says “it happens all the time” that people accidentally dial the emergency number, and it’s nothing to be embarrassed or worried about- as long as it’s an honest mistake.
On the other hand, McLafferty says his dispatchers don’t typically deal with the “interesting calls” that you sometimes hear about on the news nationwide- those that call because their McDonalds order was wrong or to report they got short-changed on a drug deal.
“We don’t deal with that much,” McLafferty said, explaining he thinks a number of people in Butler County are actually a bit reluctant to dial 911, and they shouldn’t be.
“We are a resource for people,” he said. “If they need us, call us.”
The Butler County Communications Center is located off Morton Avenue in Butler Township. During busy times, as many as seven dispatchers are working on a shift at one time.
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