The Chestertown Volunteer Fire Company is pleased to share important information about your 9-1-1 system. Until recently, callers would occasionally get a busy signal when calling 9-1-1. This usually occurred when there was a high visibility incident with many witnesses, such as a Motor Vehicle Collision on U.S. Route 50. With cell phones now an integral part of every day life, there is practically a handheld device in every car and on the person of most individuals. Previously, when such incidents occurred, the 9-1-1 system would be overwhelmed and some callers would receive a busy signal. To emergency planners and emergency responders, that was not acceptable.
Working with phone service providers, technology was developed and implemented that effectively eliminates this problem. Now? When a particular county’s 9-1-1 system is overtaxed, subsequent 9-1-1 calls are automatically routed to a neighboring county. Here, the likelihood is that the secondary county is not experiencing the same call volume and is well situated to assist with processing these 9-1-1 calls for assistance. It’s important to note that here in Maryland, there are minimum standards for training and service mandated by the state. With very few exceptions, if any, every county exceeds the minimum standards. All 9-1-1 call-takers are trained to provide life-saving instructions such as CPR and Bleeding Control. They even have the ability to provide step by step instructions for childbirth. Every caller is receiving state-of-the-art assistance. Should your call for help be answered by another county, don’t panic. All of the counties are working together to ensure the best possible service for everyone. The county answering your call will contact your county through the fastest, most reliable means and ensure a smooth, speedy transfer of information so you get the right amount and type of help appropriate for your situation.