For National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, dispatchers break down what happens when you call 911

When someone is in trouble and calls 911, a dispatcher is the very first person to help.

Posted: Apr 16, 2021 9:23 AM
Updated: Apr 16, 2021 9:26 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - This week is National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week and dispatchers at the Olmsted County Government Center want to take the time to make sure the public understands what happens when you call 911.

Dispatcher Tony Pasquale explained it's their job to help calm you down so they can get the correct information to the responders arriving on scene. He said depending on the type of situation you're calling about, you might have to tell a couple different people what's happening. "It's something that a lot of times, just reassuring them help's coming. We know where you are. We have people coming. It just lifts that weight off their shoulders," he explained. "You can hear that sigh and they start calming down. You can start understanding what they're trying to tell you again. They might still be talking a million miles a minute, but you're at least starting to make some headway. And that's something that I think we're very blessed at Rochester-Olmsted's 911 Center. We have some really awesome call takers."

There are 22 dispatchers in Olmsted County and 11 of them have more than 20 years of dispatching experience. When police-involved situations happen, Pasquale said they receive calls from the public asking how local law enforcement would have handled the situation. Those calls are often times directed to a different department.

Pasquale explained other times, they listen to your concerns. "Some people call and they just want to vent. They say, 'hey. I saw this and I don't think it's right.' And we're there for that, too," he said. "Obviously, if we have emergency calls coming in, we tell these individuals, 'you know, I respect where you're coming from and I hear you. I do need to put you on hold though because this is someone's emergency that's coming through. I'll be back with you.' Most people are very receptive to that."

You can text to 911 as well if you're unable to make a phone call right away. Dispatchers say if you do text, try to include the location and type of situation.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 594427

Reported Deaths: 7389
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1229681733
Ramsey51530876
Dakota46037452
Anoka41844440
Washington26983283
Stearns22293222
St. Louis17814305
Scott17324126
Wright16121140
Olmsted1326598
Sherburne1175388
Carver1051245
Clay816792
Rice8075108
Blue Earth751941
Crow Wing666990
Kandiyohi657383
Chisago603251
Otter Tail575878
Benton572397
Goodhue478772
Douglas468576
Mower466732
Winona455150
Itasca440556
McLeod425459
Isanti424864
Morrison419860
Nobles408148
Beltrami397859
Steele389315
Polk384968
Becker381153
Lyon361251
Carlton346054
Freeborn342129
Pine329122
Nicollet326443
Brown305840
Mille Lacs305353
Le Sueur293123
Todd282832
Cass274628
Meeker257340
Waseca236522
Martin230932
Roseau209419
Wabasha20643
Hubbard190241
Dodge18543
Renville180543
Redwood174537
Houston172016
Cottonwood165823
Fillmore156710
Wadena156122
Pennington153719
Faribault152619
Chippewa152438
Kanabec145126
Sibley143910
Aitkin135336
Watonwan13329
Rock128419
Jackson121812
Pipestone116026
Yellow Medicine114220
Pope11096
Murray10639
Swift105818
Stevens91511
Marshall88117
Clearwater87016
Koochiching84315
Wilkin81612
Lake81120
Lac qui Parle75322
Big Stone6004
Lincoln5813
Grant5788
Mahnomen5539
Norman5409
Unassigned49593
Kittson48622
Red Lake3987
Traverse3705
Lake of the Woods3273
Cook1660

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 367374

Reported Deaths: 5946
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk57696628
Linn20903335
Scott20071242
Black Hawk15825308
Woodbury15141228
Johnson1449883
Dubuque13382209
Dallas1118698
Pottawattamie11140168
Story1062848
Warren577889
Clinton556193
Cerro Gordo541289
Sioux514574
Webster512293
Marshall483275
Muscatine4812100
Des Moines458966
Wapello4305122
Buena Vista424940
Jasper419472
Plymouth401280
Lee376255
Marion363175
Jones299157
Henry292037
Carroll286052
Bremer284960
Crawford266240
Boone265134
Benton256655
Washington253950
Dickinson248543
Mahaska230451
Jackson222142
Clay215725
Kossuth215564
Tama209871
Delaware209741
Winneshiek196935
Page192722
Buchanan191532
Cedar190123
Hardin185743
Fayette185241
Wright184637
Hamilton180249
Harrison179673
Clayton169756
Butler165034
Madison162519
Mills162422
Floyd161142
Cherokee159038
Lyon158241
Poweshiek154934
Allamakee151451
Iowa148924
Hancock148434
Winnebago142631
Cass138654
Calhoun138413
Grundy136433
Emmet134240
Jefferson132735
Shelby130937
Sac130519
Union128333
Louisa128149
Appanoose128049
Mitchell126442
Chickasaw124116
Guthrie121530
Franklin120821
Humboldt119126
Palo Alto112823
Howard104622
Montgomery103338
Clarke100224
Unassigned9720
Keokuk95931
Monroe95229
Ida90635
Adair86532
Pocahontas85522
Davis83524
Monona82730
Osceola78816
Greene77710
Lucas77223
Worth7498
Taylor66012
Fremont6229
Decatur6089
Van Buren55918
Ringgold55824
Wayne53923
Audubon50910
Adams3384
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