911 in Burleigh County responds to nearly a hundred calls a day.
And in some cases — those calls aren’t what they intend to be.
Since 2003 — 911 calls at the Burleigh County dispatch center have doubled — which is on trend with the region’s population growth.
With that increase in calls — the number of false alarms may have also increased.
The main source of them … defective smoke detectors.
Andrew Beck, Mandan Fire Department, says, “They go off for a lot of different reasons. They could be malfunctioning. Someone could have actually pulled a fire alarm or situations from steam from a shower.”
Other calls could be from the public.
Beck says, “Someone maliciously calling can maybe cause a problem, somebody calling and they didn’t really realize, there was nothing going on.”
When this happens they risk running out of equipment and manpower.
Beck says, “The reality is someone else could be trying to call for a heart attack or an injury in a motor vehicle accident and we can’t be wasting our time on calls that are basically a criminal violation.”
Despite having false alarms — the experts say — no matter the case people must know that anytime there is a requested emergency — responders will be there with the help of dispatch.
Mike Dannenfelzer, Communications Director, says, “Our job here is to provide that service and get first responders to that location.”
And the more information you give, the better.
Dannenfelzer says, “Always helps because it gives us an idea of what is going on.”
When it comes down to it — “See Something, Say Something” — meaning if something is out of the ordinary — report it not matter what.
Experts say — If there is a minor traffic accident you call the local police department.
If injuries are involved — 911 is best.