Emergency Communications Center Launches “Help Us Help You” Campaign

City encourages residents to reduce the number of non-emergency calls to 9-1-1 Dispatchers through new educational campaign

The City of Long Beach Department of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Communications, responsible for the delivery of the city’s police, fire and emergency medical services, is launching their “Help Us Help You” campaign to reduce the number of non-emergency calls answered by 9-1-1 dispatchers.

Through the educational campaign, the city encourages residents to “‘Help Us’ reduce the number of non-emergency calls answered by 9-1-1 dispatchers, so the city can ‘Help You’ by more quickly answering and responding to emergency calls for service.”

“Dispatchers are essential for providing fast and effective emergency services to our community,’’ said Mayor Rex Richardson. “They connect people who need urgent help from Police Officers, Firefighters and Emergency Medical Services. By reducing the non-emergency calls they have to answer, we can help them do their job better and faster.” 

Last year, Long Beach 9-1-1 public safety dispatchers received more than 575,000 calls, which equates to 1,575 calls per day, or 65 calls every hour. Of these calls, 50-percent were for non-emergency assistance. In May 2022, the city launched a non-emergency phone tree to connect callers directly to a pre-recorded list of commonly requested non-emergency city services in effort to alleviate the inundation of non-emergency calls and provide dispatchers with additional time to assist residents requiring immediate police, fire or emergency medical services. While the non-emergency phone tree has helped alleviate 9-1-1 phone traffic, there is still a need to reduce the number of incoming non-emergency calls on the emergency line.

The “Help Us Help You” campaign will educate the community on how to connect to non-emergency city services without the assistance of a 9-1-1 Dispatcher by highlighting, easily accessible resources to residents.

Featured resources include the Go Long Beach app, where users can report non-emergency issues including graffiti, potholes and illegally dumped items; the non-emergency phone tree – (562) 435-6711 and the newly launched “One Call to City Hall,” which enables residents to access non-emergency services through a single phone number – (562) 570-5000).

“Help Us Help You” will also promote a database where residents can access a wide variety of common non-emergency city services through the city’s “Who Do I Call” web-based directory.

The campaign begins this week with a series of educational and engaging social media posts and launch of the “Help Us Help You” webpage with additional information on non-emergency resources available to the public. Residents are encouraged to follow @LongBeach911 on Facebook and Instagram to learn more and engage in the conversation.

While the city is rolling out this campaign, it remains important that residents err on the side of caution when uncertain of the situation– “when in doubt, call 9-1-1.” Residents should call 9-1-1 if they are a victim of a crime, witness or suspect a crime has occurred, a person is hurt or injured, or when they see smoke coming from a house or business.

“Dispatchers are skilled and highly trained to handle emergency calls for service; an inundation of non-emergency calls delays their response time in critical situations,” said Reggie Harrison, director of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Communications. “We need residents to help us to more quickly deliver emergency services.”

More information about the Department of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Communications is available at longbeach.gov/disasterpreparedness.

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