The Hangup with 911

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The numbers have been thoughts-blowing, and lots of of you shared our shock to study Sedgwick Co. 911 was saddled with simply shy of four hundred misdials, every day in 2015. It’s been virtually a yr since we took a better take a look at the epidemic of 911 misdials and the explanations behind them.

We’re getting higher, however the progress is sluggish. In 2015, 25 % of the calls to Sedgwick Co. 911 have been misdials. Final yr, the variety of complete mistake calls dropped by eleven,000, however nonetheless multiple in 5 of these calls have been accidents.

The Director of Emergency Communications is at a loss for an answer. One yr after she pleaded with the general public for assist, the message continues to be lacking the mark.

“If I’m in your open line listening to your grocery purchasing or your baby enjoying on the telephone, the subsequent individual calling in whose baby just isn’t respiration or whose home is on hearth is just not getting via as a result of I’m on the telephone with you,” Elora Forshee advised us.


Since our final go to, Sedgwick Co. began utilizing the state’s subsequent era 911 system. One of many advantages is deserted calls, or cling ups, at the moment are transferred to a separate queue, which will get a faithful name taker. It eliminates the burden on the remainder of the decision middle as a result of that individual is solely liable for calling these numbers again.

“I’d like them to be answering inbound actual emergencies on a regular basis,” Forshee stated. “I don’t need them chasing deserted calls.”

That’s to not point out the monetary value of staffing that place 20 hours a day.


Open strains, or pocket dials, account for the most important drain on assets. The brand new system can’t kick these calls to a separate queue, so the duty falls on name takers and dispatchers to ensure there’s no precise emergency. These can take greater than a minute to course of every.

“We simply pay attention for something within the background that could possibly be an emergency,” stated dispatcher Mary Showalter. “You recognize individuals arguing. We simply ask a number of occasions, ‘does anyone have an emergency, is anyone there?’”

Additionally they have contact-tone choices for people who find themselves listening to impaired, and within the subsequent month, Sedgwick Co. hopes so as to add textual content to 911. That would offer yet one more approach for somebody to ask for assist.

“If there’s anyone in your home and also you don’t really feel snug calling or talking you’ll be able to textual content and provides us your tackle,” Showalter stated. “There’s a possible…

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