Prank Calls & Hang Up Calls
Prank calls hurt everyone! When a dispatcher and the response units are tied up responding to prank calls, they are unavailable for real calls. Tennessee Code Annotated Section 39-16-502 makes it a Class E felony to intentionally initiate a false emergency report, knowing the same is false and knowing that a response will be made. The City of Bristol Tennessee also passed an ordinance in February 1995 prohibiting false calls.
We will seek prosecution of prank callers. If you dial 911 by mistake, please do not hang up. When the 911 dispatcher answers the phone, explain that the number was dialed in error. We attempt to contact all hang up callers by phone and an officer will be dispatched to check the welfare of the caller.
What to Do if You Cannot Speak
If you have an emergency but are unable to speak, either because of a medical problem or because someone is threatening you, dial 911, and when the dispatcher answers, tap on the phone. This indicates to the dispatcher that you are unable to speak but need help. The 911 dispatcher will ask you questions and tell you to tap once for yes and twice for no. If you are calling from a regular phone, 911 should have received your location information and will send help.
If you are calling from a cell phone, an estimated location is received and help will be sent. Stay on the phone until the 911 dispatcher instructs you to hang up, or for as long as it is safe to do so.
Non-English Speaking 911 Calls
We have a wide variety of nationalities living and visiting our area and we want to ensure they are able to receive help when needed, even if they speak another language. We subscribe to a translation/interpreter service which is a company providing 911 Centers and other emergency providers translation services. This service offers us the ability to take a call from a Non-English speaking caller and immediately conference in with their 24 hour facility. The operators at this service will identify the language of the caller and offer immediate translation services.
We have been extremely pleased with the immediate translations. Our Center has been very successful in providing 911 emergency services to our foreign speaking residents and visitors.