Ten-digit dialing has arrived and callers are asked to please proceed carefully. Careless dialing is causing some problems with the Raleigh-Wake Emergency Communications Center. Misdials and hang-up calls related to the new dialing requirements are slowing 9-1-1 dispatchers’ response time and overtaxing operators receiving calls.
On March 31 alone, Raleigh Police were dispatched to 103 incidents where callers erroneously dialed 9-1-1 and hung up. Other agencies dispatched by the facility also saw increases in volume.
According to Johnston County Emergency Services, this has not been a problem for the Johnston county dispachers. They experienced a few hang up calls during the initial week of the change but report that things have leveled out now.
Residents are reminded that if they dial 9-1-1 accidentally, they should stay on the line and talk to the 9-1-1 dispatchers. Misdials and hang-up calls divert resources away from actual emergencies since dispatchers must dial back on hang-ups to assure that an emergency is not taking place. If no response is received from the call-back, dispatchers will send a police officer to the source of the call to make certain that no assistance is needed.
The new 10-digit dialing system is intended to accommodate the growing need for telephone numbers in the area served by the 919 area code. In order to meet the need for new numbers, the new 984 area code applies to the same geographical area as the 919 area code. All customers within the 919/984 geographical area will need to dial the appropriate three-digit Area Code followed by the seven-digit telephone number when dialing a 919 or a 984 number.