New system will improve emergency response in Richmond, VA

The Dept. of Emergency Communications will change how they conduct 911 calls to provide more information to callers.

A woman wearing a headset sits in front of a computer display.

911 call-takers follow a decision tree when they receive calls.

Photo by Karen Gill, Richmond DEC

Richmond’s Department of Emergency Communications has a new method for emergency response.

DEC went live with a new protocol system for 911 calls yesterday at 10 a.m.

Here’s what to expect if you have to make an emergency call.

911 call-takers will follow a decision tree with questions about the specific situation. This means you may be on the phone for longerbut this won’t slow down response time.

Responders will already be en-route and can receive information from call-takers before they arrive. Callers also get consistent, clear instructions on what to do in the meantime.

DEC says the new system follows nationally-recognized standards for emergency response.