What would you do if you called 9-1-1 and instead of getting a person on the other end of the phone you got a recorded message?

Well, that is exactly what is happening in New Orleans right now. 

The message that people in Nw Orleans are receiving when dialing 9-1-1 is: “We are experiencing a high volume of calls and a call taker will answer your call at any moment,” the automated voice stated. “If you have a non-emergency request, hang up and dial 504-821-2222."

The New Orleans Parish Communications District did acknowledge that they were experiencing a higher call volume than normal over the weekend and many calls were rolled over to the recorded voice message. 

Many residents in New Orleans are expressing frustration over the recorded message. While they seem to be understanding and sympathetic about the fact that police and emergency personnel are busy, they are not comforted by the message that they are receiving. 

City officials are reminding residents that 9-1-1 is only to be called for true emergencies and that you should not call repeatedly. 

In an emailed statement that was sent to WWLTV, Morris stated, “OPCD has seen a slowing of applicants for open call taker and dispatcher positions. OPCD has recently made adjustments to our recruitment process to streamline hiring of emergency communications specialists, and we look forward to welcoming our next cadre of recruits on October 18th."

“Hanging up and calling back only delays the answering of a call for emergency services, and requesting callers to do so would go against OPCD standards and industry best practices,” Morris wrote. “The pre-recorded message does instruct those calling about non-emergency assistance to call non-emergency numbers in order to free up emergency phone lines, allowing OPCD call takers to more quickly receive and manage calls for life-threatening emergencies.”

 

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