New Jersey law enforcement seeing uptick in 9-1-1 calls during pandemic
The New Jersey Office of Emergency Management is reporting a rise in the amount of 911 medical calls being made during the Covid-19 pandemic but EMS calls are seeing a decline.
Three of the PSAP's (Public Safety Answering Point) reported their 9-1-1 call volume as much higher:
- Monmouth County Sheriff’s Public Safety Center.
- Hoboken Police Department.
- Union City.
The NJ-OEM also said that 11 of the counties 16 PSAP's reported their call volume is somewhat higher than normal:
- Elmwood Park.
- Cape May County Communication Center.
- Irvington Police Department.
- Middlesex Borough.
- Ocean Township Police.
- Butler PD.
- Lacey Township Police Department.
- Hawthorne Police Department.
- Passaic County Police Department.
- Hillside Police Department.
- Rahway Police Department.
- Roselle Police Department.
- Warren County.
The NJ-OEM said that the other 109 PSAP’s reported their call volume being much lower, somewhat lower or the same and many of the PSAP's reported overall call volume is down but EMS and administrative calls are higher.
If you have symptoms, think you have symptoms or have any questions related to the Coronavirus, do not call 9-1-1, that's for medical emergencies.
Instead dial 2-1-1 or you can text NJCOVID to 898-211.
Since March 18, a total of 29,019 calls have been received, according to the NJ-OEM.
The influx of calls into the Monmouth County Emergency Operations Center was something Sheriff Shaun Golden addressed in March and asked for residents to call 2-1-1 and not 9-1-1 for coronavirus symptoms.
"Please, only in an emergency...if you have a life-threatening illness, should you be dialing 911," Golden said at a March press conference with Monmouth County Freeholders.
Dispatchers and operators are playing a critical role in helping slow down those kinds of non-emergent calls.
"We have additional call-screening which was set up by the state office of telecomm services that guides our 911 systems throughout the state of New Jersey," Golden said. "There are additional questioning by our operators about flu like symptoms and narrowing that down to Covid-19 symptoms."
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