The Bluffton Dispatch Center is the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for 911 calls placed in the City of Bluffton and all of Wells County. Dispatching is provided for Bluffton police officers, Wells County Sheriff’s Deputies(emergency calls) all Bluffton and Wells County fire departments, Wells County EMS and other public safety agencies.
The 911 Dispatch Center not only processes emergency 911 calls, but also completes numerous activities in support of personnel, such as dispatching and monitoring primary and backup units, investigators, contacting and relaying pertinent information to the field, and to other agencies and businesses. The 911 dispatchers also answer all incoming telephone calls to the Bluffton Police Department.
The Bluffton 911 Dispatch Center Staff
consists of 9 full-time dispatchers:
How do I know when to dial 911?
Anytime you find yourself in a situation that requires an emergency response from a law enforcement agency, a fire department, or an ambulance service you should call 911. As a general rule, if you face a situation where you are trying to decide whether to dial 911 or not, DIAL 911. It is always better to be safe than risk the chance of not getting the help you need, when you need it.
If you have a situation that you need to report, but the incident is a past event and non-threatening (not in progress, suspects are unknown or not seen), i.e., theft of personal property, past criminal mischief/vandalism, a theft from an auto that occurred during the night, then you may want to contact the law enforcement agency to report the incident by calling in on the Bluffton Police Department's administrative line at (260) 824-3320 or the Wells County Sheriff at (260) 824-3426. Again, anytime you are unsure of when to dial 911, it is always better to dial 911 than risk not getting help when you need it.
What can I expect when I call 911?
When you dial 911, your call will be answered by an 911 Dispatcher. The dispatcher will conduct an interview to determine the type of emergency service needed. Questions generally asked fall into key questions of WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, and depending on the situation, WHY. It's important to listen to the dispatcher and answer the questions asked. The dispatcher must ask you specific questions in order to ensure you receive the kind of help needed. It may seem that you are asked a lot of questions and that a lot of time has passed,however trained dispatchers will only ask questions that are necessary in getting you the proper help you need. This generally takes less than 30-45 seconds. Often times the dispatcher will start emergency response units and will return to ask the follow-up questions.) The main objective is to remain calm and listen to the dispatcher's instructions...help is on the way.
What happens if I accidentally dial 911?
Misdials are sometimes experienced on 911. Often many misdials are realized after the number is dialed and the caller will immediately disconnect the line. This is what is commonly referred to as a "911 hangup". If a connection was made, regardless if the line was not answered by the 911 operator, the PSAP will still receive the call. It is very important to remain on the line, even if you realize you misdialed. If you disconnect the line, the 911 operator must process the call as an unknown emergency, until otherwise determined.