Speaker offers the 411 on 911 _lowres

Advocate staff photo by STACY GILL -- Zachary Rotarian Dr. Amanda Lea with guest speaker John Graham, an assistant shift supervisor with East Baton Rouge Emergency Medical Services, and Rotary President Ryan Talbot, from left, at the Oct. 9 Zachary Rotary Club meeting. Graham was Dr. Lea’s guest and signed 'The Raven Boy' by Maggie Stiefvater. The service organization donates a book each week to a Zachary school as part of an annual literacy project.

Rotarian Dr. Amanda Lea welcomed her guest, John Graham, an assistant shift supervisor with East Baton Rouge Parish Emergency Medical Services, to the Oct. 9 Zachary Rotary Club meeting.

Graham, a Zachary High graduate, was the guest speaker at the club’s Thursday meeting.

He spoke to the Zachary Rotary Club about the call takers at the 911 center in the Communications Division where he works.

The EMS 911 center receives an average of 951 calls daily, and 911 call takers have about 90 seconds to process a call to determine whether it should be transferred to fire, police or EMS, Graham said.

“The more information we can get, the better equipped first responders are in handling your emergency situation upon arrival,” Graham said.

He says the most important thing is to obtain a call-back number.

“If we can’t find you, it doesn’t matter what the emergency is,” Graham said. “The main thing I can advise when calling 911 is to listen to your call takers and be patient with them. You never know if 30 seconds before your call, we lost someone to a drowning, shooting or terrible crash.”