With most Americans owning a cellphone, more people have access to the 911 service than ever before.
Every day, over 600,000 emergency calls come into dispatch centers across the US.
And as the user base grows, the system’s limitations become more and more apparent; the cracks begin to show.
Unfortunately, as vital as the 911 service is, there are many little-known barriers that can make it difficult to get help in a crisis.
Today, we’ll be covering the five major downfalls of the public emergency dispatch system, and the best way to work around them so you can get the assistance you need fast.
1. Location-Based Dispatch
Say you have a DIY home security system. You’re out of town on a family vacation for the week when suddenly your phone alerts you that someone tripped your alarm.
You check the video feed and see that an intruder managed to break into your house through one of the windows.
What do you do?
You can try dialing 911, but that will only give the intruder more time.
See, when you call emergency services, you’re connected to a dispatch center closest to your location. The system is built to come straight to you, not anywhere else.
So, if you’re out of state or even just a hundred miles away from home, sending responders to your address will be impossible.
Your only option would be to contact your closest neighbor or a nearby family member to call 911 for you. But by the time the police arrive, there’s no telling what the damage could be.
2. Time-Consuming Questions
When you call 911, dispatchers are required to ask a lengthy series of questions to understand your emergency, what services you need, and your exact location.
Unfortunately, even if you’re uninjured and able to communicate effectively, this process costs precious time.
But if you’re hurt and it’s hard to speak, or you’re in a situation where you can’t speak, then it quickly becomes counterproductive.
In fact, Rescu’s founder, Paul Piscatelli, experienced a situation like this firsthand.
The Birth of Rescu
One day, while his wife was asleep upstairs, he began having sharp stomach pains. As time went on, they grew worse and worse.
By the time he realized he needed emergency medical attention, it had gotten so bad he couldn’t make it up the stairs.
He tried calling out to his wife, but she couldn’t hear him.
Luckily, he was able to make it to the phone and dial 911. But when he got through to a dispatcher, he had to fight through an immense amount of pain just to speak to them.
He was stuck struggling through question after question until finally, they could dispatch medical services to his home.
You can imagine how frustrating and frightening it was to sit through an interview like that, not knowing whether what he was experiencing was life-threatening or not.
Thankfully, it wasn’t. But if it had been, the story may have played out very differently. And that’s what inspired Paul to create the Rescu app. So if a situation like that ever happened to him or a loved one again, they could call for help in just two taps on their cell phone.
3. Verbal Communication
Another downfall of the public dispatch service is that it’s geared towards verbal communication. If you’re hard of hearing, deaf, or unable to speak in an emergency, getting help fast can be a challenge.
Text to 911 services are available in some areas, but having to type out your location and explain your emergency can be incredibly time-consuming.
And although the deaf and hard of hearing can use teletype (TTY) phones, this still doesn’t avoid the required line of questions from dispatchers.
In a crisis, every second counts. So, the less time you have to spend explaining your situation, the better.
911 outages occur far more often than you’d like to think. Lapses in service happen many times a year, sometimes affecting over ten states at a time.
As terrifying as it may sound, thousands of calls for help get dropped due to network issues or system bugs every year.
Police and fire departments typically post their public numbers on social media during an outage. But if you’re unaware and you or a loved one is in serious trouble, the consequences could be dire.
5. Misuse & Abuse
When such a large amount of people have access to the same service, some are bound to misuse it.
Unfortunately, this is very much the case with the 911 public dispatch system.
Between prank calls, misdials, unnecessary calls, and pocket dials, some callers are forced to wait up to fifteen minutes before finally hearing from a dispatcher.
In a life-threatening emergency, time is an unaffordable luxury. You need a reliable way to get help fast with as little effort as possible.
Help in Just Two Taps. No Talking Required.
With the Rescu app, help is always two taps away.
When you send an alert, our 24/7 private dispatch center automatically receives your pre-registered address, desired services (fire, police, or medical), relevant medical conditions, medications, and special instructions…
All without saying a word.
If you’re out of town, as long as you have a network connection on your smartphone, you can dispatch emergency services to your address from anywhere in the world.
Rescu also notifies all listed emergency contacts and allows you to make a follow-up call to your dispatcher to provide them with extra details about your situation.
And thanks to our private monitoring center, when 911 goes down, we stay up. So you and your family can have the peace of mind you deserve.
Get started with the Rescu app today and enjoy the life-saving benefits of the fastest private dispatch system on the market.