05/21/12 129 W - + 8 - 7 Ten-Digit Misdials Continue to Plague Raleigh/Wake ECC

Press release. Ten-digit dialing continues to cause significant problems for the Raleigh-Wake Emergency Communications Center. Instead of dialing the area code 919, callers are mistakenly dialing 9-1-1 and hanging up. Misdials and hang-up calls divert resources away from actual emergencies, as dispatchers must dial back on hang-ups to assure that an emergency is not taking place. If no response is received, a police officer is sent to the source of the call to make certain that no assistance is needed. Ten-digit dialing became mandatory in the area in late March. For the first two weeks of May, the average rose to 181, more than six times [ ! ]  the normal amount for days prior to the area code overlay. Read entire press release.

Mike – thanks, as always, for posting. I want to remind readers that the numbers published are just for those calls we DISPATCHED and not for the total load that this change has placed upon us. All told, we have doubled the amount of 9-1-1 landline calls we get from homes and businesses. So, please try to remember that fact when dealing with our telecommunicators. So many of our stats have gone completely through the roof that it’s almost impossible to convey the burden created. Our ring to answer rate has slipped, and so obviously will the time it takes to answer a radio call. We are working the public education aspect in many directions, but as the numbers show, there has yet to be a positive impact. Again, if your department does any public education – especially with businesses or seniors – please make this a part of your program.
RWECC - 05/24/12 - 10:04

Does anyone know how the call volume now compares with the anticipated volume before the change-over? I mean, it’s not like no-one saw this coming, so a larger number of mis-dials should have been expected.
Paul - 05/24/12 - 12:32

Paul, emergency servers are pretty good at predicting unexpected situations. I’ll wager that this increase is perhaps astronomically above— or longer in duration— than was planned. But it might also be a new cost of doing business, at least in the 919 area code, and perhaps in communities with large populations of people prone of misdialing.
Legeros - 05/24/12 - 13:02

Paul – while we predicated an increase based upon incidents of past misdials from people who historically used 10 digits, it was impossible to anticipate the magnitude of this impact. While we did some pre-cutover pub ed, there are so many variables. For example: Why does Durham have a significantly lesser impact than Raleigh and Cary? We haven’t figured that one out yet. Also, even had we predicted such a major increase, we could not have suddenly found trained staff to handle the overload. Double or triple in some categories was within reason. But, we are double or triple that in a variety of areas. And none of our predictions showed the problem getting worse instead of better.
RWECC - 05/24/12 - 18:47

Remember personal info?

/ Textile

Comment moderation is enabled on this site. This means that your comment will not be visible on this site until it has been approved by an editor.

To prevent spam we require you to answer this silly question

  (Register your username / Log in)

Hide email:

Small print: All html tags except <b> and <i> will be removed from your comment. You can make links by just typing the url or mail-address.