Many things have changed since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. One thing that has not changed is 9-1-1 is still available 24 hours a day to help you in an emergency.
9-1-1 centers are still fully staffed and dispatchers are reporting for work as normal. Many police departments have protected their 9-1-1 staff by isolating dispatch from other city workers. Any employee who is experiencing even mild flu-like symptoms is asked to self-isolate for 14 days. Many centers are asking their employees to take their temperature before reporting to any shift.
If you need to call 9-1-1 for an emergency, you might experience additional questions than are normally asked. If your call to 9-1-1 requires an in person response, the 9-1-1 dispatcher will ask you if you are experiencing any COVID related symptoms. This is to protect the officer, firefighter, and paramedic who will be responding to your location.
Some of the questions your 9-1-1 dispatcher might ask include:
- Do you have flu-like symptoms?
- Are you having respiratory issues?
- Do you have a fever?
- Do you have a cough?
- Do you have a sore throat?
- Have you recently traveled outside the US?
- Have you recently traveled outside Oklahoma?
- Have you had physical contact with anyone who could answer affirmative to any of the above questions?
- Are you a health care worker?
Please answer the questions honestly and to the best of your ability. Even if you are experiencing symptoms, police and fire will always respond to your emergency.
When responders arrive to your location, you might be asked to meet them outside if you are physically able. This protects both the responder and the caller. Many non-emergency reports are now being taken over the phone. Reports taken over the phone are processed in the exact same way as reports taken in person. So if you have property damage and need a copy of the report for your insurance agency, it will be the same report as if you filed in person.
Please do not hesitate to call 9-1-1 if you have an emergency. If you are looking for general COVID-19 information, please visit ACOG’s COVID-19 News and Information page for many resources.
Public Information Director