The Lowell Communications Center receives all 911 calls for police, fire, and medical emergencies, as well as the business calls for both the police and fire departments. The center also monitors radio communication for four police radio frequencies, as well as three fire department frequencies. Besides having dispatch capabilities for the Lowell Police and Fire Departments, our dispatch radios can communicate with more than two dozen Greater Lowell communities on mutual aid channels. I consider our civilian staff of dispatchers some of the finest and most professional personnel you can find who are dedicated to providing quality and effective public safety communications for the people who live, work, and do business in the city of Lowell.
The Communications Center of the Lowell Police Department is staffed by more than two dozen civilian employees of the LPD. In 2000, the Lowell center received just over 30,000 911 calls for service and more than 350,000 business calls. Overall, the center dispatched approximately 100,000 calls for service through its Computer Aided Dispatch system during the course of the year.
The Lowell Police Department's Communications Section merged its operation with the Lowell Fire Department in 1999. After several months of training, the dispatchers assume the roles of dispatch operators for both the police and fire departments, marking the first time in the city's history that civilian personnel controlled dispatch functions in a combined Communications Center.
Every April, the city of Lowell takes time to recognize its Communications personnel during a Dispatcher Appreciation Night held as part of National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week. During the ceremony, dispatchers are honored for their roles in either specific calls or for their overall performance in Communications. The night is also used to bestow Dispatcher of the Year honors.
Lowell Police/Fire Dispatchers of the Year
2000 Christina Page
1999 Therese Cooper
1998 Jacqueline Fernandez
1997 Denise Pelletier
What is 911?
The emergency number 911 was first introduced in 1968 in Haleyville, Alabama as the result of an AT&T proposal intended to provide an easy to remember, no-coin manner in which you could always contact police, fire, and EMS agencies. Today, officials estimate that over 270,000 calls are made to 911 every day in the United States.
Since July, 1995, the City of Lowell has used the Enhanced 911 or E911 system that provides dispatchers with the caller's address and telephone number. However, 911 is not to be used for every circumstance of contacting your police or fire department. Both departments have business numbers that will be answered by personnel to service your non-emergency needs.
Lowell Police Department business: 978-937-3200
Lowell Fire Department business: 978-458-4588
However, should you need to actually call 911 for an emergency, take note of the following:
Do's and Don'ts of 911
- Dial 911 only in the case of an emergency. 911 is not the number to call when you can't find your television remote or there's a barking dog in the neighborhood or when you need the phone number to your local pizza parlor. It is, however, the number to dial when you want to report a crime in progress, report a fire, or report a medical emergency. Some examples of emergencies include chest pain, a burglary in progress, or any type of fire. Examples of non-emergencies include reporting a past theft, a past vandalism, or parking problems.
- Very important: If you dial 911 by mistake, do not hang up the telephone! Instead, stay on the phone and tell the dispatcher that it was a mistake and you do not have an emergency. If you hang up, a dispatcher must call back to confirm that everything is okay and will likely send a police officer to your home to guarantee that. 911 hang up calls are the highest volume type of call dispatched through our Communications Center every year!
- Teach your children about the importance of using 911. They need to know when to call and what can happen when they abuse or play with the system.
- Briefly describe the incident you are reporting to the dispatcher. Stay on the line with the dispatcher and do not hang up until they tell you to. In many cases, the dispatcher will keep you on the phone until the first emergency units arrive to help you.
- Let the dispatcher control the conversation when you call. They have been trained to ask you specific questions, especially when it comes to medical calls. Remain calm, speak clearly and let the dispatcher run the conversation.
- If you are calling 911 from a cell-phone, the call will automatically be routed to the State Police in Framingham. Once you explain to them that you are calling from a location in Lowell, they will instantly reroute you back to our Communications Center.
For more information about our Communications Center or to arrange a tour for a school or young children, contact our Communications Director at (978) 937-3202 or e-mail him directly at email@example.com