PBSO 9-1-1 System – Is one Of The Best AroundPBSO
Message from Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw:
Did you know that more than 650,000 calls are received every year at our 9-1-1 emergency communications system?
That’s about 1,800 callers a day requesting medical, fire, police and other emergency services across Palm Beach County.
These calls are handled by our staff of nearly 200 emergency call takers and dispatchers. Our Communications Division employees work around the clock, every day of the year, to assist Palm Beach County’s 1.3 million residents — and everyone else passing through our community every day — with emergency response services. To do this kind of work, our staff is highly trained to make big decisions in a matter of seconds and to handle the pressures associated with dealing with life and death situations all day long.
Our 9-1-1 system is one of the best around, but, like many other government services these days, it can only be stretched so far. We all have to learn how to use it better.
Let’s start with the reasons for calling 9-1-1. They are:
• To request a police officer for a crime in progress.
• To get an ambulance seeking emergency medical help.
• To report a fire.
There are also reasons NOT to call 9-1-1. These include:
• To report a power outage or flooding.
• To ask about animal control issues.
• To find out if someone is in jail.
• To report a burglary, larceny or act of vandalism.
• To report car accidents without injuries, such as fender-benders.
The general rule of thumb is: if you are in danger or in need of medical attention, call 9-1-1 immediately. For non-life-threatening situations, call the Sheriff’s Office non-emergency numbers if you live in our jurisdiction. Those numbers are:
• 561-688-3000 in the areas west of West Palm Beach.
• 561-995-2800 in the areas west of Boca Raton and Delray Beach.
• 561- 996-1670 in the Glades area.
Also, Palm Beach County has a great community resource called 2-1-1. Call 2-1-1 to find out how to handle a personal crisis or to learn about social services.
When you do have an emergency and call 9-1-1, remain calm and listen closely to the instructions of our operators. Answer all their questions as this will speed up the response to your emergency. Don’t assume the call taker will know your location because in the age of cell phones and home electronics devices, it’s not always clear where you are calling from.
Our 9-1-1 operators have some of the toughest jobs in our community. They take these jobs because they enjoy helping our residents and visitors. No wonder many of them have won state, national, and international awards for their dedication in handling local emergencies.
For most of us, we’ll call 9-1-1 only once or twice during our lifetimes. I hope you never have an emergency, but if you do, please know that you will be in good hands with our call takers and dispatchers.