Tulsa's 911 call center priorities

Tuesday, September 28th 2004, 5:05 pm
By: News On 6

Tulsa’s 911 call center says the number one priority for local 911 dispatchers is finding out what's wrong and if anyone's in danger. After that they need to find out exactly where the problem is.

Experts say the operator who handled the fatal Oklahoma City house fire earlier this week should have asked for the caller's address right off the bat, instead of waiting for the caller to volunteer her address 30-seconds into the call.

Dispatchers in Tulsa always double-check addresses, even though the new "Enhanced 911" systems provide them automatically. 911 fire dispatcher trainer, David Vincent: "We take the address they give us and we ask them to give us their address twice to verify that what we have on the computer is correct, because it's not always accurate."

One problem with Tulsa’s “Enhanced 911” system is emergency calls from mobile phones don't trigger addresses in dispatchers' computers. Tulsa's call center says getting that technology is quite a ways down the road, because they simply cannot afford its $1.2-million price tag.