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Philadelphia Opens 311 Call Center

By Wyatt Earp | January 1, 2009



It’s about God-damned time! This is the first thing Michael Nutter has done right in the past year. Of course, we needed this system years ago, but we’ll take what we can get at this point.

Philadelphia’s widely anticipated 311 call center opened yesterday, offering for the first time a free phone number that residents, businesses and visitors can dial 24 hours a day to get information about a wide array of city services.

Callers will now be able to reach a live operator who, at least in theory, can connect callers to any number in city government, answer questions about most city services, and take requests for city services, such as towing an abandoned car.

Yeah, that’s swell and all, but here is the important part. Pay attention, Philadelphia:

The service is only equipped to handle non-emergency calls. To stop a crime or get emergency medical help, residents should still dial 911.

Even better, but let’s hear from the mayor:

“Emergencies go to 911, everything else to 311,” said Nutter, who fielded a call himself in front of the television cameras. The caller wanted to know their garbage collection and recycling day. Mayor Nutter consulted the 311 database, and quickly provided an answer. (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

Ya hear that, morons??? DO NOT call 911 for your migraines and stubbed toes, loud music, or your neighbor’s overgrown lawn! Bother 311 with that nonsense, because we’re not dealing with it anymore!

Thank you.

Topics: Philly, The Job |

10 Responses to “Philadelphia Opens 311 Call Center”

  1. Easily Lost Says:
    January 1st, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    Any money on how long before 911 gets a non emergency call? I give it less then 12 hours.

  2. Wyatt Earp Says:
    January 1st, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    E.L. - I got a buck that says it’s already happened.

  3. RT Says:
    January 1st, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    So, I guess that the budget cuts are covering this? Heh.

  4. Deanna Says:
    January 1st, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    So I am confused… does my Grandma call 911 or 311 to get her kitty out of the tree? Ha! Ha! (Just kidding!)

    Happy New Year! Be SAFE in 2009!

  5. VariableFeedback Says:
    January 1st, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    I lived in Philly a couple of years ago when I was going to school. At one point, somebody stole the license plate from my car. I tried calling the police department on a non-911 line (figuring that a stolen license plate was far from an emergency) to report the theft, and the operator who answered the phone told me to hang up and call 911. Hopefully that will change with the new system.

  6. USA_Admiral Says:
    January 2nd, 2009 at 10:12 am

    Good Luck. I doubt it will work or you will be spending a lot of time telling people to call 311.

  7. Wyatt Earp Says:
    January 2nd, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Deanna - She calls the fire department . . . or the A-Team.

    VF - Agreed. We’ll see, but that is everyone’s hope.

    Admiral - Probably the latter. Sigh.

  8. CaptainAmerica Says:
    January 2nd, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    I give it six months.

    Can’t wait till you get your first “We got a 311 system? Shit whens did dat happen?” walk up. I’ll be listening for the sound of your head exploding!

  9. Bitter American Says:
    January 3rd, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    Hello, 311? I wants to report a robbery. What? No, man, I don’t wants to squeal on my homies, just tellin’ you they’s a robbery goin’ down.

  10. marvin Says:
    January 4th, 2009 at 10:03 am

    Hello, 311? How do I go about getting some more of those teddy bears on my street’s lamp post. Two are simply not enough.