Real-life examples of when speaking with a dispatcher can put you at risk, & a safe, quiet alternative to 911
In many emergencies, it’s perfectly safe to call 911 and explain your situation to a dispatcher. Fires, medical emergencies, car accidents—these are all prime examples.
But there are some scenarios where speaking out loud over the phone can actually put your personal safety, and even your life, at risk.
Follow along as we cover five of these emergencies and a reliable alternative to 911 that allows you to instantly dispatch help to your exact location without saying a word.
During a home invasion, it’s impossible to know whether the intruder intends to simply steal your belongings or cause you and your loved ones harm.
If you call 911 and start talking to a dispatcher—even if you whisper—you could alert the intruder as to where you are, potentially endangering yourself and anyone else in the room with you.
If their abusers find out that they’re trying to call for help, domestic abuse victims are at risk of further violence. In situations like these where a silent lifeline is crucial, calling 911 is simply unsafe.
There’s always the option of starting the call and not saying anything, but without any information, the dispatcher won’t be able to determine the victim’s exact location.
Witnessing a Crime
If you witness a crime from a safe distance away, you can call 911 without risking your personal safety…
But if the criminal is within earshot, you may want to think twice about picking up the phone—especially if they’re acting aggressive or violent.
In some cases, hearing you trying to alert the authorities may scare off a perpetrator. In others, it could cause them to escalate their behavior and direct their aggression toward you.
In these situations, it’s best to play it safe and avoid talking on the phone to minimize the risk of harm to yourself or others.
Active Shooter Situation
If there’s an available escape route, the Department of Homeland Security recommends evacuating an active shooter situation as quickly as possible.
But if you’re trapped in a room or building with a shooter and forced to hide, even the slightest noise can reveal your location. Attempting to talk with a dispatcher can jeopardize your safety and the safety of those around you.
Again, you can still call 911 and stay silent while the dispatcher listens, but at best, they’ll only be able to come up with a rough estimate of your location.
In an active shooter situation, as with most emergencies, precise information is critical for first responders to remove the threat and save lives.
The danger of getting caught calling for help during a hostage situation is just as real as the other scenarios we’ve discussed.
In all the chaos and confusion, victims may only get one chance to reach for their phone and contact emergency services.
And even if they’re able to reach someone, talking is almost always going to be out of the question, leaving the dispatcher with—you guessed it—only a general idea of where they might be.
Get Help Quickly & Discreetly. No Talking Required
Given the risks of calling 911 in these situations, what can you do to contact emergency services without jeopardizing your personal safety?
Many new smartphones have built-in SOS technology that allows you to silently call 911 and automatically sends your estimated location to dispatchers…
But it’s still not an exact system.
Dispatchers have to triangulate your location using local cell towers, which isn’t entirely accurate and costs precious time you may not have.
In an emergency, your personal safety is already at risk. If you have to put yourself in even greater danger to get help, that defeats the purpose of calling the authorities.
That’s where the Rescu personal safety app comes in.
With Rescu, you can quickly, quietly, and confidently dispatch first responders to your exact location with just two taps on your smartphone. There’s no need to stay on the phone, talk to anyone, or explain your emergency.
Rescu’s private dispatch service operates out of a 5-Diamond, UL-Certified monitoring center that bypasses the 911 system, so you can instantly get the help you need. This private system, combined with Rescu’s call-free service and cutting-edge GPS technology, allows for response times up to twenty times faster than 911.
In fact, it’s the fastest way to get help in an emergency, and you don’t have to put you or your loved ones at risk to use it.
Download the Rescu app today for a faster, safer, and more reliable alternative to 911.