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Callers with Special Needs

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The 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Center is committed to providing direct and equal access to callers with special needs.

Our systems are capable of processing TTY calls, including Voice Carry Over (VCO) and Hear Carry Over (HCO) calls. The computerized telephone system automatically recognizes TTY calls. In addition, our public safety telecommunicator/call takers have received training in handling TTY calls. If you are a hearing impaired caller, please answer all questions our staff may ask you. Our public safety telecommunicator/call takers are trained to provide helpful instructions prior to the arrival of emergency services. Never hang up until instructed to do so!

The Emergency Communications Department maintains a contract with Language Line Solutions. Language Line provides over-the-phone voice interpretation services utilizing a staff of interpreters capable of providing translation for over 240 different languages. When a call is received from a limited English speaking caller, our staff will initiate a conference call, which takes a matter of seconds. During this three-way connection Language Line identifies the language and provides the appropriate interpreter. The interpreter then translates between the caller and the public safety telecommunicator/call taker.

Our agency maintains an agreement with the Oswego Hospital Behavioral Services Division (OHBSD) to provide services to callers experiencing mental health issues. Some callers experiencing mental health issues may not require an emergency services response. Other times, a dispatch may be necessary. OHBSD features staff on duty 24/7 to assist citizens. Our telecommunicator/call takers simply conference the caller with a OHBSD counselor who is trained to provide over-the-phone assistance.

The Emergency Communications Department utilizes the Priority Dispatch Emergency Medical Dispatch Program. Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) is a process whereby pre-arrival medical instructions are provided to the caller. Callers often have no medical training and are not capable of assisting a patient in need. All public safety telecommunicator/call takers are EMD certified. They have received the specialized training necessary to talk a caller through the process of helping a patient. Our public safety telecommunicator/call takers have assisted callers through a multitude of medical emergencies, including CPR, choking, allergic reactions and childbirth just to name a few. We are extremely proud of the number of lives that have potentially been saved and the number of children who have been delivered as a result of our EMD efforts.