When residents call 911 for something other than an emergency, they are tying up a vital line to an emergency dispatcher and potentially delaying response to someone calling 911 with a life-threatening emergency.
In order to provide the quickest response for residents with an emergency, Adams County Communications Center (Adcom) is launching a campaign to educate Adams County residents to use a ten-digit number, 303-288-1535, for non-emergency calls. For Broomfield residents, that non-emergency number is 303-438-6400.
“Most people know to call 911 for an emergency, and we don’t want anyone to hesitate to call us when they need immediate assistance from our fire, law enforcement and EMS agencies,” said Adcom Executive Director Joel Estes. “However, we have too many people who call 911 for issues such as noise complaints, lost pets or crimes that occurred hours earlier, and that’s overloading our 911 system.”
Adcom is one of the largest and busiest emergency call center in Colorado, receiving more than 453,000 calls in 2016. Of those calls, 37 percent, or approximately 170,000, were 911 calls. The other 63 percent of the calls ranged from residents seeking information, reporting a barking dog or loud music, locking their keys in their car or other non-emergency issues.
Adcom urges residents to input 303-288-1535 into their cell phones, so they can easily access the non-emergency number. Residents will still have their calls answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. However, those calls will be answered secondary to calls coming through 911 to the communications center.
“We encourage residents to stay on the line, whether calling 911 or the non-emergent number,” said Estes. “If someone hangs up after calling 911, we will still call back that number and may dispatch emergency responders to your location if we can’t reach you. That again takes away vital resources that could be deployed to a real emergency. If calling the non-emergency line, we promise to get to your call and help get you the information you need.”