Thread: 311 Lines

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    Default 311 Lines

    When will 311 be nationalized for non-emergency calls to emergency services? Many times I have been out of my local area, needed to report something or request assistance but had no idea what number to call. Nationalizing 311 is the absolute best way to avoid tieing up 911, and avoiding situations such as in the other thread.
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    I agree, but where will the money come from? I heard somewhere that due to the decreased use of landline phones (which are charged some sort of a 911 fee), existing PSAP operations are struggling with the increased amount of calls (thanks to cells) and decreased funding.

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    Locally we have just moved away from using *311 on cell phones to "fast path" the Rescue Coordination Centre here in Victoria. I am not sure of the rational behind it though. They stopped publishing that number about 2 years ago, and I believe it is out of service now.
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    I am aware of no plans to nationalize (standardize) 3-1-1 in the United States.

    Our agency uses 3-1-1 as part of our City family of services:

    http://www.lafd.org/311.htm

    A roster of current 3-1-1 systems and their disparate uses can be found here:

    http://www.911dispatch.com/information/311map.html

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    I agree, Dennis. I wish we could get the 311 service better established. Having been a dispatcher, I've seen first-hand the problems that arise when people call 911 because they couldn't find the number for the police department in the phone book (and it's so easy to find - it's in there, like, 6 times!).

    I happen to be sitting next to a cell phone expert right now, so I asked him about this. He said that as far as he knows, the government requires all phone services, land or wireless, to be assessed a 911 service fee. Based on this, I would think that revenue would be UP now due to the increased number of phone services out there. How many people do you know that have a home phone AND at least one wireless - maybe several wireless phones? And only a few years ago, they only had the home phone. Seems like there should be MORE money being paid in now compared to the past.

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    Originally posted by firemedicgm
    I happen to be sitting next to a cell phone expert right now, so I asked him about this. He said that as far as he knows, the government requires all phone services, land or wireless, to be assessed a 911 service fee.
    No. Must be a state issue. Effort for last several years to get the Legislature to establish a cell phone users in Iowa a 911 fee. I believe current effort is to get at least $0.50/m as the cell phone co having a fit over the $1.50 (as I recall) charged on POTS lines. 911 surcharges are off by about 30% in Iowa over the last 4-5 years. Result is no $ for upgrade of sustem to locate 911 cell calls.

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    In illinois we are charged for 911 on cell phones its so much per number, i dont know about land lines but i would think that there is a charge on them too.
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    Any more comments on 311 lines?
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
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    We have 9-1-1 and now you want 3-1-1, which is good, providing it can be funded and staffed. There are 5-1-1 for traffic and of course 4-1-1 for information.

    I guess before too much longer there will be other ones for the ones not listed.
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    Originally posted by CaptOldTimer
    We have 9-1-1 and now you want 3-1-1, which is good, providing it can be funded and staffed. There are 5-1-1 for traffic and of course 4-1-1 for information.

    I guess before too much longer there will be other ones for the ones not listed.
    We don't have 511, but DC and Baltimore have 311, it removes the non-emergency calls from 911 and is sort of a one stop call for all government services. It makes government a more friendly customer(that is the taxpayers)service oriented system.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
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    Originally posted by DennisTheMenace
    it removes the non-emergency calls from 911
    In theory...

    People will always dial 911 for non-emergencies because they know that they'll be listened to, or that if they "say the right thing" they can have a a social worker (officer) at their door in minutes, or a taxi cab (ambo) in minutes.
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    Originally posted by Resq14


    In theory...

    People will always dial 911 for non-emergencies because they know that they'll be listened to, or that if they "say the right thing" they can have a a social worker (officer) at their door in minutes, or a taxi cab (ambo) in minutes.
    You are right it won't eliminate the none emergency calls totally, but it does cut down on 911 call volume substantially, and gives folks that are not off their rocker an alternative to get help when they know it is not a true emergency.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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    A separate "non emergency" number, provisionally called 888 has ben mooted in the UK for someime now, but has always bitten the dust due to the costs of implementing, advertising and persuading people who are used to dialling 999 not to use it.

    There are about 50000, 999 calls in the UK everyday. Trying to get people to use another number after so many years of being used to 999, will prove very difficult to do. Emergency numbers are the most abused telephone numbers the world over, but who are we to say what is an emergency to "us", the emergency services, and is'nt to the caller? My feelings, dealing with them every day, are that we just have to accept that some people will dial the number regardless of how much information and education the Police/Fire/Ambulance services provide to try and disuade them not to. Its the nature of the beast I'm afraid.
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