Upstate communications departments say 911 lines tied up for wrong reasons

State - Regional

Spartanburg, S.C. (WSPA) – Director of Spartanburg County 911 Communications Center Mike Flynn said people are calling 911 for the wrong reasons and tying up the lines for emergency calls.

Flynn said his department had to take to social media after South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster held a press conference days ago closing non-essential businesses.

Flynn said callers called 911 to ask whether or not their business was essential, and if they had to go to work the next day.

He said calling 911 should be reserved for instances where are you or someone nearby is in danger.

Flynn said they have no authority to answer these questions, and people should visit the SC Department of Commerce website, email covid19sc@sccommerce.com or call (803) 734-2873.

Director of the Cherokee County 911 Communications Center Dennis Gardner and Deputy Director Brandon said now is also a good time to let callers know they may be asked several more questions than normal when they call 911. Because of the coronavirus outbreak, they said they may be asked whether or not they have traveled recently, have certain symptoms or been tested for COVID-19 before a first responder or deputy arrives.

By signing up for Smart 911, you can insert some of this information ahead of time so it will automatically pop up on screen for the dispatcher.

Go to www.smart911.com to take advantage.

The non-emergency number at Spartanburg County communications 911 center is (864) 596-2222.

The non-emergency number at the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office is (864) 503-4500.

In Cherokee County, the non-emergency number at the sheriffs office is (864) 489-4722.

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