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Communications Unit

The Heroes We Never See: Novi dispatchers keep calm when emergencies come calling

 

The Novi Regional 911 Center serves as the public safety answering point (PSAP), or 9-1-1 center, for the Cities of Novi and South Lyon. The service area is approximately 35 square miles serving an estimated resident population of 71,000. Public Safety agencies served by the 9-1-1 center include the Novi Police and Fire Departments and the South Lyon Police and Fire Departments.

Police DispatcherThe Novi Regional 9-1-1 Center is a modern and well-equipped facility that is staffed by highly trained 9-1-1 personnel. Current staffing levels are 12 dispatchers, four shift leaders, and a manager.

It is the mission of the Novi Regional 9-1-1 Center to provide a fast and effective communications link between the citizens requesting public safety services and the public safety agencies charged with providing emergency and non-emergency services to those citizens.

911 Procedures

Let's look at how the 911 system works.

Police DispatcherWireless/Cell Phone calls to 9-1-1
When a 9-1-1 call is placed by a caller using a cell phone, it is routed to the nearest PSAP. The Dispatcher answering the call will receive both the caller’s wireless phone number and their estimated location information. This location information is provided to the Dispatcher through latitude and longitude, so although they will know the approximate location, it is important for the caller to be ready to provide an exact location so that police and/or fire units can quickly be dispatched to render aid.

Landline calls to 9-1-1
When a 9-1-1 call is received from a landline, the address, phone number, and homeowners or business name will be displayed in the dispatch center. The Dispatcher will verify this information with the caller to ensure that it is correct, and depending on the assistance needed, will then dispatch the police, fire and/or EMS. If the 9-1-1 call is a medical emergency, the call will then be transferred to a private ambulance service for further instructions.
 
If a 9-1-1 call is placed in error, please stay on the line until the call is answered and tell the Dispatcher that you have misdialed. When a call is received and the caller has hung up, the Dispatcher will call back to determine if there is a problem, or send police and/or fire units depending on the circumstances. In the case of children that call 9-1-1, we will call back and ask to speak with an adult.

If you are a resident of Novi, and your home telephone service is provided by your cable company, please be sure to do an initial test call to 9-1-1. When the Dispatcher answers, make sure they know that the call is not an emergency, and that you are simply testing to ensure your call was received by the Novi Regional 9-1-1 Center. If your call is not received by the Novi Regional 9-1-1 Center, contact your cable company immediately to correct the problem.

Finally, if you possess an emergency only cell phone without service, please understand that although you can call 9-1-1 and speak with a Dispatcher, location services are not available. This means that it is imperative that you provide the Dispatcher with an exact location so that emergency responders can find you.