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The Communications Division is the primary Public Service Answering Point (PSAP) for the Town of Summerville. All 9-1-1 calls are answered for the residential, commercial and mobile phone users. This includes all calls for law enforcement, fire department, first responders and EMS (Dispatched by Dorchester, Berkeley or Charleston Counties).

 Summerville is a rapidly growing Town and the dispatch center receives over 75,000 calls a year. The 9-1-1 center operates with 14 full time dispatchers. Besides the 9-1-1 duties the communications division is responsible for radio communications


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 Summerville Police Administrative Line at (843) 875-1650. 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 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 hang-up". If a connection was made, regardless if the E911 operator did not answer the line, 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 E-911 operator must process the call as an unknown emergency, until otherwise determined.

What is the difference between E911 and 911?

·         The 911 and E911 Systems is both emergency phone systems, the only difference is that a basic 911 System only provides a direct point of contact to a public safety agency. An Enhanced 911 (E-911) System takes it a step further by providing the caller's address and telephone of where the call originated. All areas of the Town of Summerville are equipped with an Enhanced 911 System (E911).

How you can help?

·         One of the most significant problems that emergency responders face is that the majority of homes do not have their current address displayed, or properly displayed, so that emergency responders can readily see them. We are fortunate to have a good addressing system in Summerville. With our E-911 system, emergency responders may know what your address is, but locating a residence where the address is not prominently displayed can be difficult, take valuable time, and may have serious and tragic results in situations where seconds count. Giving the E-911 dispatcher detailed directions is very helpful, but keep in mind that in some cases there are response units from different agencies and that they may be dispatched through different dispatch centers. In cases where a residence is not properly marked, having to repeat the directions multiple times to assist emergency response units in locating an address can delay the arrival of emergency response units. Having your address displayed on both sides of your mailbox, at the end of your driveway, or on the house itself, in large easy to read numbers makes it easier for emergency response units to locate your residence. In the event that your mailbox is not near your residence, or in a location where multiple mailboxes are located, displaying your address in a location that identifies your residence (at the end of your driveway, or on the house itself) is extremely helpful in getting help to you or a loved one in an emergency.



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