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Emergency management responds to questions about 9-1-1

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This past weekend a group of neighbors in the Monkey Junction area say they could not reach 9-1-1 when trying to report a fire. County Emergency Services Director Warren Lee looked into the situation and says the 9-1-1 operators on duty during the fire did not follow the emergency management guidelines. Lee could not comment on the violations or disciplinary actions because it's a personnel matter, but says the matter was handled. Lee says New Hanover County residents can do their part to help 9-1-1 operations run smoothly. "We rank fifth in North Carolina in numbers of 9-1-1 calls that come into our center. On an average day we receive between 400 and 600 9-1-1 calls. There's a lot of traffic coming in here quite often we get calls from the citizens that are not true emergencies," said Lee. Some of the most common non emergency 9-1-1 calls include, animal control problems, traffic issues, electric and water shut-offs, and no trash pick-ups. Lee says if you're not sure if the situation is an emergency, try calling 2-1-1 first. That's the county's general information line. Lee says he's also looking into our report yesterday of a woman who twice had problems reaching 9-1-1 to help her husband. He urged 9-1-1 callers to let the phone continue to ring, rather than hanging up. A 9-1-1 operator will be with you as quickly as possible.

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