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What to Do if a 911 Caller Doesn't Speak English - Part Two

Posted by Greg Holt on April 23, 2015

In our previous post, we started out with an all too familiar situation 911 call takers in the United States face on a regular basis: trying to help limited English proficient (LEP) individuals in a crisis situation.

When we left our intrepid call taker, she was momentarily dreading the conversation to come because she knows that clear communication is the one thing offering hope to the caller at the other end of the line and the call can even be a matter of life and death. Yet, clear communication is exactly what’s being disrupted because of language and cultural issues that complicate calls.

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What To Do if a 911 Caller Doesn't Speak English - Part One

Posted by Greg Holt on April 21, 2015

woman_on_phoneThe call chirps into her headset. She closes her eyes and takes a deep breath, then presses the call button, opens her eyes and focuses on the screen in front of her.

Call taker: “9-1-1. What is your emergency?”

Caller: “¡Por favor, ayúdeme! ¡Mi hija no está respirando!...

Her eyes close again for a moment as she realizes this situation just became a lot more dangerous.

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