Frequently Asked Questions
WHY DO DISPATCHERS ASK SO MANY QUESTIONS DURING A 911 CALL?
As an Accredited Center of Excellence, the Franklin County Emergency Communications Center (FCECC) must follow strict protocols when taking calls that require an ambulance to respond. The questions are designed to assess the condition of the patient and guide the dispatcher in providing appropriate instructions to the caller in order to aid the patient. Some instructions include, how to escape a sinking vehicle, child birth, CPR, bleeding control or even what to do if your accelerator on your vehicle is stuck. The process of asking these questions DOES NOT delay help being sent right away. Dispatchers work as a team. Typically, one dispatcher takes a call, the other dispatcher sends help to you.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT WHEN I CALL 911?
When you have an emergency and need help right away:
- Call 911.
- Listen very carefully to everything the dispatcher is saying.
- If you do not already know, try to determine the address of the emergency.
- Having the address readily available ensures that the dispatcher can send help to the correct location as soon as possible.
- Try to remain calm as you provide the dispatcher with all the information that they ask for.
Emergency situations can be scary. It will probably feel like the dispatcher is asking a lot of questions that you don’t have time to answer but do your best to answer each question to the best of your ability.
In the Emergency Communications Center, we have at least two dispatchers working at all times. This means that one dispatcher is taking your call and information while the second dispatcher is getting help on the way. Dispatchers will provide you with very important, sometimes life-saving instructions. It is very important that you listen and tell the dispatcher if there is something you don’t understand.
For non-emergent calls, the same rules apply. Answer the dispatcher’s questions to the best of your ability and help will be sent as soon as possible.
HOW DOES 911 WORK? HOW DO DISPATCHERS RECEIVE MY CALL?
No matter if you call from a cell phone or a land line, the 911 system will identify the closest Primary Safety Answering Point (PSAP). If you are calling near a county line, your initial call could be directed to a PSAP in the wrong county and your call will need to be transferred to the correct agency by the dispatcher.
In Franklin County, once a call requesting help is received, one dispatcher will gather information while the other dispatcher sends help. When the center is receiving an abundance of calls (i.e. severe weather, accident in a highly visible location, etc.), each dispatcher may have to answer calls, dispatch units, as well as monitor and answer radio traffic, all at the same time.
WHAT DO I DO IF MY POWER IS OUT?
If you find yourself without power, PLEASE DO NOT CALL 911. You should instead call your power company or provider. There is nothing that 911 will be able to do to get your power turned back on. It is only appropriate to call 911 if you need police, fire or medical services.
HOW DO I GET PERMISSION TO BURN (OPEN BURN PERMIT)?
Burn permits are obtained online at www.franklincoks.org/burn. Please do not call 911. Dispatchers monitor the online burn permit system and have a live feed of all issued burn permits and their location.
HOW DO I OBTAIN A PROTECTION FROM ABUSE OR PROTECTION FROM STALKING ORDER?
If you would like to get a protection order from abuse or stalking, contact the Franklin County District Court. Click the link for more information.
If someone is violating a protection from abuse or protection from stalking order, call 911 or 785-242-3800 to make a report.
WHAT DO I DO IF MY TAG HAS BEEN LOST OR STOLEN?
A lost or stolen tag must be reported to the agency that has jurisdiction over the location where the tag was lost or stolen. Dispatch can help get you to the appropriate agency by calling (785)242-3800.
- For tags lost or stolen out in the County, contact the Franklin County Sheriff’s office.
- For tags lost or stolen in the City limits of Wellsville, contact the Wellsville Police Department.
- For tags lost or stolen in the City limits of Ottawa, contact the Ottawa Police Department.