Help the AJC investigate 911 wait times

Have you been placed on hold while calling 911? Share your story with us.
Call takers work at Atlanta’s 911 center in July 2023. (Arvin Temkar / arvin.temkar@ajc.com)

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

Call takers work at Atlanta’s 911 center in July 2023. (Arvin Temkar / arvin.temkar@ajc.com)

It’s the simple, three-digit number that we all know to call in an emergency situation. But what happens if 911 doesn’t pick up right away?

Cities across the nation, including metro Atlanta agencies, are struggling to answer calls efficiently. The National Emergency Number Association recommends that 911 centers answer 90% of calls within 15 seconds.

Wait times can further delay emergency services, costing precious minutes in life or death situations.

If you called 911 in Atlanta or the metro area and struggled to get through, the AJC’s reporters would like to hear your story through the short survey below.

Atlanta has made strides to hire more workers and improve answer times but still has work to do. Last month, Atlanta Police Department Chief Administrative Officer Peter Aman updated city council members on efforts to improve efficiency.

“We need to make improvements significantly beyond this because there are still too many times you will call the 911 Center and actually end up on hold and sometimes for longer periods than we find acceptable,” Aman told council members.

Survey responses will be shared with reporters and editors, but your name will not appear in the story unless AJC reporters reach out, and you agree to participate.

The responses will guide our reporting, and journalists from the AJC may follow up with additional questions.