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The 411 on 911

Rochester dispatchers explain when you should call 911, and when you should opt for the non-emergency line.

Posted: Nov 11, 2019 5:16 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - Do you know when to call 911? It sounds simple, but it's not always an easy determination to make.

"One of the biggest things that we get, especially now that winter is coming, is road condition questions, weather condition questions. And a lot of people are calling 911 for that purpose," said Holly Ketzeback, a dispatcher for the City of Rochester and Olmsted County.

Ketzeback and fellow dispatcher Janelle Rosin taught a class at 125 Live in Rochester, teaching people when they should call 911, and when they should use the non-emergency number instead.

You should call 911 when somebody's life is in imminent danger, like medical emergencies, serious car crashes, armed robberies or an active shooter.

Knowing when not to call 911 helps dispatchers help the people who are in those life-threatening situations.

"We have six 911 lines. So if we have 3 of those tied up with non-emergencies and someone calls in for an emergency, it's going to roll to our non emergency line. And we recognize when that's happening because we can see them. But it doesn't mean we can get to it any quicker. So if I'm asking you, 'is this an emergency?' and you start explaining to me that your neighbors dog has been barking all day and I have to say please call back on the non-emergency line, even though it might be me answering again, it's still not taking up the 911 line. And in the meantime, someones cardiac event could've rolled over to the non-emergency line. So it is really important," said Rosin.

When you call 911, dispatchers need to know 4 things:

1. The location of the emergency.

2. The precise emergency. Example: "My father collapsed."

3. A call-back phone number.

4. The condition of the victim. Example: "The person is not breathing."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 128152

Reported Deaths: 2354
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin33024980
Ramsey13609355
Dakota9467136
Anoka8324150
Stearns554641
Washington539968
Scott326534
Olmsted315930
St. Louis279765
Wright233214
Nobles219516
Clay215343
Blue Earth20037
Carver17247
Kandiyohi16395
Sherburne160621
Rice15929
Mower149915
Winona122518
Crow Wing94721
Lyon9416
Chisago9202
Waseca9199
Benton8827
Beltrami8397
Otter Tail7896
Todd7525
Steele7342
Nicollet70017
Itasca69617
Morrison6578
Freeborn6494
Douglas6323
Martin60216
Le Sueur5985
McLeod5764
Watonwan5724
Polk5574
Goodhue54211
Becker5193
Pine5190
Isanti5115
Chippewa4153
Carlton4031
Dodge3790
Mille Lacs37613
Hubbard3462
Cass3445
Wabasha3430
Pipestone33616
Meeker3183
Brown3113
Rock3113
Yellow Medicine2715
Cottonwood2650
Unassigned26553
Murray2643
Redwood26011
Fillmore2450
Sibley2423
Renville23711
Faribault2210
Roseau2160
Wadena2082
Jackson2041
Kanabec19410
Swift1931
Houston1861
Stevens1741
Lincoln1720
Pennington1711
Koochiching1644
Aitkin1592
Pope1520
Big Stone1310
Lac qui Parle1303
Wilkin1274
Lake1110
Norman1050
Mahnomen1041
Marshall971
Grant924
Clearwater880
Red Lake662
Traverse540
Lake of the Woods431
Kittson370
Cook110

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 111117

Reported Deaths: 1587
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk18419283
Woodbury697994
Johnson571730
Black Hawk535098
Linn5245129
Dubuque489654
Scott421037
Story391018
Dallas336944
Pottawattamie309144
Sioux234314
Buena Vista222512
Marshall195936
Webster178914
Plymouth159426
Wapello149462
Clinton140926
Muscatine139358
Crawford133712
Des Moines13059
Cerro Gordo130423
Warren11856
Carroll107212
Jasper105534
Henry10075
Marion95710
Tama91837
Lee90710
Delaware72912
Dickinson7117
Wright7071
Boone6969
Mahaska65924
Bremer6389
Washington62711
Harrison6238
Jackson5583
Benton5381
Lyon5287
Louisa50715
Clay5044
Hamilton4613
Winnebago45818
Winneshiek4559
Hardin4495
Kossuth4460
Poweshiek44111
Floyd42411
Jones4223
Cedar4205
Buchanan4194
Emmet41517
Iowa3948
Cherokee3832
Franklin37818
Sac3774
Guthrie37615
Clayton3753
Page3740
Shelby3601
Mills3551
Butler3542
Fayette3543
Cass3512
Madison3512
Allamakee3438
Chickasaw3381
Clarke3283
Humboldt3083
Hancock2984
Palo Alto2982
Grundy2895
Calhoun2854
Howard2619
Osceola2610
Monroe25111
Mitchell2380
Monona2361
Taylor2302
Union2194
Appanoose2173
Pocahontas2172
Jefferson2121
Lucas1976
Fremont1881
Ida1842
Greene1820
Van Buren1662
Davis1634
Montgomery1616
Adair1481
Keokuk1481
Decatur1430
Audubon1381
Worth1340
Wayne1133
Ringgold832
Adams700
Unassigned140
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