ROCHESTER, Minn. - Rochester and Olmsted County dispatchers are holding presentations for the public to educate people on the 911 system. On Monday, they gave a morning and evening presentation at 125 Live.
They went over topics including misconceptions about 911 and dispatch and how they function, the differences between law enforcement agencies, when to call 911 versus when to call the non-emergency number, and misleading phone calls.
The dispatchers encouraged attendees to program their local non-emergency number into their cell phone and to memorize their address and loved ones' addresses and local non-emergency numbers. They advised people to be as specific as possible about their location when calling dispatch and always giving a call-back number.
"Please understand when we're on the line with you, it doesn't delay someone coming. They're already on their way but the more information you can tell us, the more, better resources we can send you and I feel as a dispatcher that is probably my number 1 priority is helping people," says dispatcher Holly Ketzeback.
The non-emergency phone number for the Rochester Police Department and Olmsted County Sheriff's Office is 507-328-6800. The non-emergency number for the Rochester Fire Department is 507-285-8963. Rochester and Olmsted County dispatchers field calls for all three agencies and can send Gold Cross Ambulance Service to a location as well. Dispatch has 6 emergency phone lines, 6 non-emergency lines, and 2 fire lines open. When someone calls 911 for a non-emergency situation and ties up an emergency line, someone who is actually in crisis is rolled to a non-emergency line.
Rochester Animal Control's number is 507-328-6960 and the Drug Tip Line is 507-328-6760.
If you'd like a dispatcher to speak for a group you are a part of, you can call dispatch and request the supervisor to set up a time and date.