The California Public Utilities Commission voted Thursday to name a San Gabriel nonprofit firm to run Los Angeles County’s new 211 phone line, intended to ease the load on 911, reports the Los Angeles Times.
The line, slated to open in 2004, will be run by Info Line of Los Angeles and will steer nonemergency callers to public and private agencies for social and health services. Such calls for assistance sometimes contribute to the flood of nonemergency calls to 911.
Callers would decide themselves whether to call 911 or 211.
If 211 is called, said Julio Puchalt, Info Line’s associate director, “We make an assessment of every caller and we refer them to the appropriate resources in the community, which may include health services.”
Puchalt added that in any medical emergency, Info Line would immediately instruct the caller to dial 911.