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Twitter and Facebook followers can track calls

Washington County Consolidated Communications Agency, the counnty's 911 dispatchers, will begin posting the most ridiculous 911 calls on Facebook and Twitter, in order to teach people about proper use of emergency services.Washington County’s emergency dispatchers are getting into the blotter war.

For years, The Times has posted the best (and worst) calls local residents have made to Tigard and Tualatin police, and recently began a weekly competition with rivals Lake Oswego Review and West Linn Tidings. Now Washington County 911 dispatchers are getting in on the action, too.

Starting this week, Washington County Consolidated Communications Agency, which handles 911 calls across the county, will publish the most ridiculous calls made to dispatchers. The calls will be posted to the organization’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

Their first entry: "A person called in to report that his debit card wouldn’t work at a gas station, which was closed at the time of the call. You called 911 for that?!"

The goal is to educate people about what calls to report to emergency dispatchers, said agency spokesman Mark Chandler.

“Although most of the general public is aware of when to call 911, we regularly receive a large number of non-emergency and general information calls on our emergency lines,” Chandler said. “Given our limited number of 911 lines, by which we receive emergency calls, and a limited number of call takers to answer those emergency calls, it's critical that those lines are kept available to those that have actual emergencies.”

The 911 system is for police, fire and medical emergencies, the agency said. Non-emergency calls in Washington County should be made to 503-629-0111.

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