Johnson County E911 Dispatch is located in the Detention Center and is the primary answering point for all 9-1-1 calls from within the county. 9-1-1 Dispatch is responsible for dispatching police, fire, and ambulance for the towns of Lamar, Knoxville, Hagarville, Hartman, Coal Hill, Oark, Ozone and all of the surrounding areas in Johnson County.
Johnson County E911 started the ability to answer 9-1-1 calls in October 2003. There were approximately 10,000 9-1-1 calls alone received in 2007. A dispatcher is the link between the public and emergency responders such as deputies, police officers, paramedics, and firemen. All calls we receive are equally important and there are questions that are asked to determine what type of call is being answered.
Please be as patient as you can with the dispatcher when calling 9-1-1 and answer the questions as calmly as possible. The questions that are being asked are giving both the dispatcher and the emergency responder the needed information for determining what action(s) to take to properly respond to the call. The dispatcher may ask the question(s) more than once to make sure they have understood your answer. When calling 9-1-1, the more information that you have available to the dispatcher, the better.
A dispatcher is often responsible for performing multiple duties at the same time. When a call comes in, the dispatcher gets the needed information and decides whether a deputy or fire department needs to be sent or whether to transfer the call to another agency or the Johnson Regional Medical Center EMS. The call taker may remain on the phone and obtain more information while giving directions to the appropriate emergency responder. Your call taker may also be responsible for handling other phone calls, radio traffic, relaying information by voice, computer, radio, or any combination of these.
All Johnson County Dispatchers are trained to both dispatch and as a Detention Officer working in the Detention Center with Inmates. At full staff, there are 2 dispatchers on duty at the same time. The number of staff on duty varies with the time of day. The Johnson County E911 Dispatch is designed to assist the public it serves in an efficient and professional manner. Due to the support received from the citizens of Johnson County, we hope we are able to maintain the emergency response level they expect and deserve.
E911 F.A.Q. WHEN SHOULD I CALL 911? Dial 911 only in emergencies where people might be seriously hurt, like fires, crimes, injuries, sickness, or if they are in danger. If you don’t know whether to call 911 or not, calling is the right thing to do.
WHAT NUMBER SHOULD I CALL FOR NON-EMERGENCIES? Dial 754-2200 for all non-emergency calls. Although all calls (911 and 754-2200) are routed to the same dispatch center, 911 calls are handled on a higher priority. Dialing 754-2200 for non-emergencies keeps the 911 lines free to handle emergencies. _________________________________________________________________________
WHAT IS E911? E911 is Enhanced 911 which automatically reports both the number and location of the caller, if the location is available. This information is referred to as the ANI/ALI (Automatic Number Identification/Automatic Location Identification). ANI/ALI information is received within 1.5 seconds from the time the 911 call is initiated. _________________________________________________________________________
HOW DO I BENEFIT FROM E911? The benefits are obvious when you consider the number of callers that are unable to provide a location. These callers include young children, people who are suffering a medical condition and can’t speak, people who are involved in a physical disturbance where they may not be able to speak to the dispatcher, etc. Having E911 helps get the needed location for the caller and allows the dispatcher to quickly send help. _________________________________________________________________________
IF THE DISPATCHERS KNOW WHERE THE 911 CALLS ARE COMING FROM, WHY DO THEY STILL ASK FOR A LOCATION? One of the first questions you are asked when you call is “Where is the emergency?” This is an important question for several reasons: 1) Not all calls come from the location of the emergency. For instance, a neighbor may call to report a prowler or fire down the road. 2) Very infrequently, the ANI/ALI information is received in error. 3) The call is made from a disconnected cellular phone. _________________________________________________________________________
WHAT IF I CALL 911 FROM A CELLULAR PHONE VERSUS A LANDLINE? The ANI/ALI information from a cellular phone is not always available when calling 911. The location of the caller may be shown on the map depending upon the cellular phone carrier. The cellular phone number should be available to the dispatcher, but it is always confirmed that the number shown is the correct number. In rural areas, cellular phones may not have enough signal to complete the call or for the dispatcher and the caller to understand one another. When 911 is dialed from a land line, the ALI/ANI information is received, but will be verified that the information we have is correct. The ALI information is always received from land line because the phone carrier has the latitude and longitude of the residence address in their database. This enables our mapping to locate the caller. _______________________________________________________________________
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I ACCIDENTALLY DIAL 911? The best thing to do if you accidentally dial 911 is stay on the phone and explain to the dispatcher that you made a mistake. If you hang up, they will call you back. If you don’t answer or the line is busy, an officer will be sent to your location. Even if you hang up after just one ring, we still receive the information. _________________________________________________________________________
DO ALL CELLULAR PHONES HAVE THE ABILITY TO DIAL 911? Yes, as long as the phone will turn on, 911 can be dialed. Parents, this is important to know for children who play with disconnected or unused phones. 911 can still be called without having to dial 9-1-1. If you have a phone that you do not use anymore and wish to let children play with it, please take out the battery so the phone does not power on. _________________________________________________________________________
WHAT IF I DON’T KNOW MY ADDRESS? Every house in the county has a specific address for that structure. If you don’t know that you have an address or don’t know what it is, please call the 911 Addressing Office at 754-2866 to find out what it is. The Route Box addresses are no longer valid. You will have a physical 911 address for your residence. Knowing your address is very important in emergency situations. _______________________________________________________________________
SHOULD I POST MY ADDRESS OUTSIDE MY HOUSE? Yes, your address should be visible from the road. Do not assume since your mailbox is marked you have posted your address—mailboxes are not always at the entrance of the driveway and are usually not marked clearly on both sides. If your house is not visible, then you should post your house numbers at the end of your driveway. The numbers posted should be 4 inch reflective numbers and be placed somewhere that can be easily seen both day and night. Remember, if your numbers are posted, this will help with response time by the emergency responders knowing where your house is. _______________________________________________________________________
WHAT DO I NEED TO TELL MY CHILD TO DO IF THEY NEED TO CALL 911? Make sure your child knows how to dial 911 from both home phones and cell phones. This is very important and needs to be taught to every child. When a child calls 911, they need to know the necessary information that will be asked. Make sure they know their address. It is also helpful if the child knows their parents’ names or the name of an adult at the scene with them. Also post the address near the phone or a location that they know to go to find the address. The child will need to try and briefly tell us what the emergency is, such as a medical emergency, an altercation, or a fire. We will try to stay on the phone with the child if possible until someone arrives on scene. _________________________________________________________________________
The 911 coordinator is responsible for supervising dispatchers and all day-to-day operations of dispatch and 911. They are also in charge of the 911 addressing and mapping, assigning all of the new addresses in the county by driving to the site of the new address and collecting the GPS coordinates. Then formulates an address based upon the location of the coordinates. They assign road numbers for new roads in the county and are responsible for maintaining all map data, keeping up with all street names, road names and numbers for the entire county. They assist the public with questions about addresses and any problems they may have with them. They also deal with the USPS, UPS, FedEx, and other delivery services with directions to addresses throughout the county. The 911 offices can be contacted at at 754-2866. If unavailable, please leave a message and they will return your call.