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Frequently Asked Questions

Besides 9-1-1, are any other numbers answered at the 9-1-1 Center?

Yes.  The 9-1-1 Center answers not only 9-1-1 calls, but all other 10-digit numbers listed in the phone book as “non-emergency”.  For instance, the Police Department listings in the phone book read: “Emergency – 9-1-1” “Non-Emergency – 315-442-5111 or 315-425-2111, etc.”  All of those numbers ring to and are answered by the exact same 9-1-1 call-taker.  The same is true for every other police, fire and EMS agency listed in the telephone book.  All of the NON-EMERGENCY numbers listed are answered here at the 9-1-1 Center.

Then what difference does it make whether I call 9-1-1 or the 10-digit number?

Here in Onondaga County, we have an “Enhanced” 9-1-1 system.  This means that when you dial our call-takers will have your name, address and phone number displayed when they answer the phone.  This will assist in making your call quicker and easier to process.  This location display is also extremely important in cases where the caller does not know where they are, or cannot speak or give their location due to a medical problem or a variety of other reasons.  Our call-takers do not receive this display when the 10-digit numbers are dialed, or when 9-1-1 is dialed from a wireless (cell) phone.

Should I only dial 9-1-1 in a “life or death” emergency?  What if I need the police for a more routine reason like a simple automobile accident?

Since in Onondaga County all NON-EMERGENCY calls are answered by the same call-takers that answer 9-1-1 calls, a simple answer is this:  If you need the POLICE, FIRE or EMS services DISPATCHED for any reason – dial 9-1-1.  If you just have a question or need information please try to find the proper number in the telephone book.  For instance, to find out if someone has been arrested and may be in jail, please look up the number for the Justice Center; if you need the number for a Dog Warden, please find it in the phone book under the appropriate Town or Village listing.  If you call one of the NON-EMERGENCY Police numbers for those questions you will connect to our 9-1-1 Center Emergency call-takers.  If this happens, you will be transferred to an information call-taker, who will attempt to assist you.  You may experience some time on “hold” while waiting for an information call-taker.  Please DO NOT HANG UP and redial as you will lose your place in line and tie up our Emergency call-takers again.

What should I do if I am unhappy with the service I received from
dialing  9-1-1?

If a caller is not satisfied with the services provided, they should ask to speak with the shift supervisor.  If they have already disconnected, they can call back the same number they originally dialed and ask for the supervisor.  The caller should explain to the supervisor the circumstances of the call and why they are not satisfied with the service they received.  The shift supervisor is responsible to investigate the complaint, determine if 91-1 personnel acted properly or not, and if not to take whatever action they deemed appropriate to address the issue.  The caller may ask the supervisor to call them back with the results of the investigation.  Supervisors cannot, however, send a written resolution of the incident.  Callers requesting a reply in writing should call for an administrative review.  If the caller is still not satisfied with the supervisor’s resolution, the caller may contact the 9-1-1 administrative office at (315) 435-7911 during business hours to request an administrative review.  9-1-1 administrative staff will review the call, including the actions of the supervisor.  This step includes if the caller requests a written reply.  The   9-1-1 Center makes every effort to respond to administrative reviews within five business days from receipt of the complaint.



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