9-1-1 Dispatch Center
The West University Place Dispatch Center provides 24-hour emergency services to the residents of West University Place. Dispatchers are trained to handle numerous emergency and non-emergency calls that come into the dispatch center every day. While monitoring numerous computer screens, and answering incoming phone calls, they’re also transmitting information to first responders over the radio and coordinating with multiple agencies when needed. The West U dispatch center process approximately 19,500 calls per year.
Life or death situation and in-progress crimes against property, which include, but are not limited to:
- Life threating situations
- Motor vehicle accidents that cause injuries requiring medical attention
- Hazardous chemical spills
- Smoke detector, carbon monoxide alarm or other alarms sounding
- Smoke in building
- If you see someone hurting someone else
- To get help for someone who is hurt
- If you see someone taking something that belongs to someone else or breaking into a home or business
Calling 911 knowing that an emergency does not exist is a crime and subject to prosecution.
Non-emergency situations, including:
- For information about an ongoing scene or incident
- Abandoned vehicles
- Asking for directions
- Parking complaints
- Questions about tickets, warrants, court dates, etc.
The non-emergency number for the West University Place Police Department is 713-668-0330. This number is staffed 24 hours per day, seven days a week.
DO NOT HANG UP!
Stay on the line and advise the dispatchers that you dialed in error. If you hang up, the following will happen:
- A call back to the phone is initiated by the dispatchers to determine if there is an emergency.
- If the dispatcher is unable to make contact with the caller to verify that there is no emergency, officers are dispatched to determine if an emergency situation exists. Calls made to 9-1-1 are tracked geographically by the dispatching software.
- If the dispatcher makes contact and still feels there may be a problem an officer will continue to the location to verify there is no problem.
- To ensure the safety of the caller or persons involved
- In case medical conditions change
- To provide current and accurate information to the responding units
The following is the minimum information needed for response:
- Location of your emergency (exact address intersections, or landmarks)
- Type of emergency
- Your name and call back phone number in case further information is needed
What is the location of the emergency?
This is the address where the emergency is actually happening. The caller is always asked to give the location of the situation, as the address data transmitted when the 9-1-1 call is received may not always reflect the exact location. If you don't know the actual address, tell the call taker and then:
- Give cross streets or closest known streets
- Provide landmarks, business names or parks near the emergency.
- Look at the house numbers in the area.
- If you have a GPS, offer dispatchers the GPS coordinates.
If you are asked to describe a suspect, start with the most obvious things.
Some examples are:
- "He/she was a white male/female."
- "He/she had a gun."
- "He/she was at least 6 feet tall."
- "He/she was wearing a bright red jacket."
- "He had a long brown beard."
- “She had short blonde hair.”
- “He/She was walking towards University Blvd. and Auden St.”
If you describe a vehicle, include:
- License plate information, including the state.
- Year. (If unknown, describe the vehicle as a new or old vehicle.)
- Make. (Was it a Honda? Nissan? Ford?)
- Body style. (Was it a 4-door? Hatchback? Pick-up truck?)
- Other things you may remember about it. (Did it have a toolbox? Stickers?)
What is the phone number you're calling from?
This is the number to the phone you're actually using. Dispatch needs this in case Dispatch, or one of the public safety responders, need to call you back.
What is the problem?
Tell us exactly what happened. Be as concise as possible. Tell us what the problem is now, not what led up to the problem.
- "I see a fight on the corner of Auden St./University Blvd."
- "I am fighting with my spouse."
- "There is a car accident westbound in the 3600 block of Rice Blvd."
Dispatch will also need to know if you are going to be at, or near, the scene when first responders arrive because they may need to talk to you, or you may need to point out the exact location. Dispatch may ask you what kind of car you are in, and/or for you to provide your physical description.
Emergency dispatchers need to get accurate information to allow first responders to make the best decision on how to approach the situation. Dispatchers handling fire and paramedic calls must also consider the well-being of the public and the safety of the firefighters and paramedics. Callers will be asked:
The information you provide a dispatcher is relayed to responding officers, paramedics or firefighters while they are on their way to the call.
You will be asked a series of questions that will help determine the level of response needed. The public safety responders will be better prepared to help the patient with the information you provide. Dispatchers uses emergency medical dispatch procedures which provide medical instructions to callers, relay accurate information to public safety responders. Additionally, dispatchers are trained to listen to background noises to determine if a crime is being committed such as domestic violence or aggravated assaults in order to coordinate an appropriate response.
- As outlined above, all calls will start with verification of the location where the public safety response is needed. While the call taker is still on the telephone with you gathering information, and in many cases, public safety units are being dispatched while the call taker is still on the telephone with you.
You should be prepared to answer questions like these:
- What is the location/address of the fire?
- What is on fire?
- How large is the fire? (This is only an estimate; think about the size of the fire in relation to something common: the size of a living room, the size of a football field, bigger than a grocery store parking lot.)
- Are any structures threatened? Are there flames moving close to any homes or buildings?
- Are there power lines involved?
- Do you know if anyone is inside the housing or building?
- Do you know if anyone is hurt?
IF YOU CAN'T DECIDE IF YOUR CALL IS AN EMERGECY, CONSIDER IT TO BE AN EMERGENCY AND DIAL 9-1-1