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Central Oklahoma Prime Timers: Our Afternoon At The 911 Call Center

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Sunday afternoon's field trip to the 911 Call Center was a fascinating learning experience. Seventeen of us made the trek downtown, pushed the various buttons to let ourselves in, saw one of our members, David, watching for us in the parking lot, and then enjoyed immensely the presentation in the lounge.

Jamie O'Leary, 911 Supervisor, gave us a power point presentation, speaking regarding personnel qualifications and the extensive background checks. When hired, the training takes a full year. We heard types of calls, such as the kid hiding in the closet while burglars are ransacking the house, suicidal calls (about three a day), and laughable calls. She explained why a fire truck always answers 911 calls. We heard that a land line immediately plugs in the address to the call. If no land line, and the caller is on a cell phone, hopefully the caller is able to say where they are. Jamie's 45 minute presentation, with her dynamite personality, went by as quick as the snap of a finger.

We were led into the area of the phones, and most were surprised at the enormity of the work area: arc-shaped desks with four TV screens on each desk. The next operator available takes the call. Every Saturday at noon, we hear the tornado siren blow. That blowing is manned, although' the timing is auto-set. Every siren throughout the city has a red dot on the yard-square screen. At the noon blowing, if a certain dot doesn't come on, it means that the neighborhood siren did not function.

In calling on Monday to thank Jamie, she thanked us for being so attentive and asking such intelligent questions. The 911 procedure is so much more involved than we thought it was. We guys felt it was a very worthwhile afternoon.

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