NASHVILLE, Tennessee. (WSMV) – Due to confusion with Nashville’s non-emergency subway line, many people are facing long waits as emergency crews look for a solution to keep people safe.
This is a problem that dozens of people constantly face.
When you call the non-emergency line – 615-862-8600 – you wait over 30 minutes, and in some cases over an hour, to talk to someone.
Emergency communications teams have said this is a problem they are trying to solve.
Hundreds of calls are received daily through the Emergency Call Center. Some come through the 911 line and others through the non-emergency line. Director of Emergency Communications Stephen Martini said that’s where they’re having trouble.
“The 8600 number is associated with a long response time or a long wait time,” Martini said.
What is causing the delay?
“We’re getting phone calls from people reporting traffic lights not working at an intersection, and while it’s a concern, it’s not about time and life safety,” Martini said.
He said many people unknowingly clog non-emergency lines with issues that can be resolved online and create long waiting times. However, the confusion does not end there.
“There were concerns that I saw two people fistfight in the yard and I called 8600 and it took me a long time to get a response, or I saw a woman being pushed out of a moving car and I called 8600 and it took me a long time to respond,” Martini said.
All problems, according to Martini, had to be on the 911 line. He said that people do not understand which number to call.
WSMV asked him to clarify the situation.
“Things that can escalate and are about life safety, so waiting is important, then we call 911,” Martini said.
Problems that are not as time sensitive can be reported to the emergency number or reported online.
“We encourage people to use the Nashville hub, smartphone app, or website to report this: “Someone needs to look at this and action still needs to be taken, but I don’t need to call 911 right now for this,” Martini said.
There are fewer calls to the non-emergency line, but there is another problem – lack of staff.
“We are currently looking for 40 new team members to add to our team and help fight this issue,” Martini said.
If more people figure out which resource to go to and call center vacancies are filled, Martini said, waiting times will decrease.
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