It might seem that calling “9-1-1” in an emergency is well understood, but some persons still use old phone numbers, Chairman Matthew Osterberg said, at the July 19th Pike County Commissioners’ meeting.

MILFORD - It might seem that calling “9-1-1” in an emergency is well understood, but some persons still use old phone numbers, Chairman Matthew Osterberg said, at the July 19th Pike County Commissioners’ meeting.

In discussions between departments and with emergency response services, the commissioners were made aware that at times, instead of using 9-1-1, phone numbers that were in use to reach an ambulance, fire department or police agency in the past, were still being used.

“This causes some confusion to the 9-1-1 dispatchers,” Osterberg said.”They’re dialing numbers posted on their refrigerator for the last 30 years and are forgetting to call 9-1-1.”

The problem lies in effectively reaching help when it is needed the most. A call to 9-1-1 for a medical emergency, for example, will lead to the nearest available EMS unit to be dispatched to your house. If you call an ambulance hall’s non-emergency number, they might be out responding to another emergency and no one will answer.
Typically, however, there will be an answering machine that comes on, with the first part of the message stating that if this is a true emergency, hang up and call 9-1-1.

Police and fire stations also generally have non-emergency numbers, and no one may be at the office or station, when someone calls.

In some cases, a caller may not think what they have is really an emergency, but Osterberg said that they should call 9-1-1.

The Pike County Communications Center also has its own non-emergency number, 570-296-7700, but that is not meant for requests for assistance from emergency response agencies.

[More meeting items are found in the Wednesday print edition of The News Eagle.]
The Pike County Commissioners meet on the first and third Wednesday at 9 a.m. at the Administration Building, 506 Broad St., Milford.