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Yes! Before being assigned to take 911 calls, each Emergency Communication Officer Recruit undergoes 180 hours of mandatory classroom and hands-on training, under the supervision of a trainer. Emergency Communication Officers then undergo many additional hours of training to enable them to perform other tasks, such as police or Emergency Medical Dispatch and Emergency Fire Dispatch to deliver pre-arrival instructions on how you can help before emergency units arrive.
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The E911 system is considered to be one of the most advanced in the State of Idaho. The "E" stands for "Enhanced" 911 service. Enhanced 911, or E911, is a system which routes an emergency call to the appropriate 911 answering point (PSAP) for the caller's location, and automatically displays the caller's phone number and address. The 911 call taker will typically ask the caller to verify the information, which appears on his or her computer screen. In most areas, phone number and location information is available for 911 calls made from a cellular/wireless phone. When calling from a cellular telephone it's important to be aware of your surroundings, look for landmarks and when driving stop at a safe place and then place your call to 911.
Your call is routed by the phone company, to the Public Safety Answering Point at Blaine County Emergency Communications, where it will be answered by an Emergency Communications Officer.
Calls to 911 should be reserved for emergencies such as:
In 2016, Blaine County Emergency Communications Center began accepting Text to 9-1-1 within Blaine County. This was a cooperative effort between counties, creating the ability to send a text message to 9-1-1 in Blaine, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln, and Twin Falls Counties.
• If you are hearing or speech impaired.
• When a voice call could increase a threat.
• If you are injured and cannot speak.
• If you are in a remote location and can only send a text message.
• Enter the numbers 911 in the “To” field.
• The first text message to 9-1-1 should be brief and contain the location of the emergency and type of help needed.
• Push the send button.
• Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions for the 9-1-1 call taker.
• Keep the text message brief and concise; avoid slang and abbreviations.
Calling 911 from all telephones in the state of Idaho is free. Calls made from your home, business, cellular phone and all pay phones are free when you dial 911.
Immediately state your address and the nature of your emergency such as reporting a fire, an accident, a burglary or whatever the case may be. The Emergency Communications Officer will want to verify your location, phone number and name. From there, let the Emergency Communication Officer ask the questions. They will ask questions regarding your situation, such as the name and description of any other persons involved or other pertinent information such as emergency medical or fire dispatch questions.Please be patient and rest assured that help is on the way; while you are talking with the person taking your call another Emergency Communications Officer is sending help to your location.
You will be asked a series of questions, which are extremely important to the proper handling of the call. These may include:
Although these may seem like an unreasonable number of questions during an emergency, they are very important to emergency personnel. For example, if a burglary has just occurred and the suspect flees, the officers have a much better chance of apprehending the suspect if they have a good description of the suspect and the direction that was taken. More important, if the incident in question involved a weapon, the life of the Officer may depend on the information given.One common misconception of Public Safety Communications is that Emergency Communication Officers (ECO) wait until finishing the call before sending help. During a true emergency, the ECO’s work as a team. One remains on the line with the caller and enters the information to another ECO, who dispatches Police Officers, Firefighters or other emergency personnel. It is very important that you stay on the line during a call to 911. The Emergency Communications Officer will continue to ask you questions while the police are en route.
If you call 911 by mistake, do not hang up. Stay on the line and explain that you do not actually have an emergency. Everyone makes mistakes and there is no penalty for accidentally dialing 911. If a caller to 911 hangs up without stating the problem, the caller must be contacted in order to ensure that no actual emergency exists. This may involve the dispatching of police officers to your home or place of business in order to ensure that a problem does not exist.
If you need the police, but it is not of an emergency nature, please call our non-emergency line at 208-578-3831. Examples of calls that should be placed to the non-emergency line are: