Answer 95% of 911 calls within 20 seconds
Call answer time has improved dramatically in the past two years. From a low of 33.5% in 2015, the City of Memphis has improved its 911 operations to the point where call takers consistently answer more than 90% of all calls within 20 seconds. The City is excited to announce that we achieved the 95% standard in November 2017, and continue to work to maintain this level of service.
You can view the City's progress in the chart below, which also shows the percent of calls abandoned. Abandoned calls are those where a caller hangs up before a dispatcher is able to answer. As we have decreased the call answer time, the number of abandoned calls has also decreased because people are less likely to hang up when their calls are answered in a timely manner. The percent of calls abandoned has dropped from a high of 45% in 2015 to less than 10% in 2017.
911 Call Volume
Decreased call volume is one reason that 911 call answer time has improved over the past two years. When fewer calls come in, call takers are better able to keep up with the flow of calls, thereby decreasing the likelihood that calls will wait in the queue.
Keeping up with the flow of calls then creates a virtuous circle: reduced answer time lowers the likelihood that callers will abandon their call and re-dial, which in turn reduces call volume, which reduces call answer time, and so forth.