Feb. 19, 1998
Vol. 17, No. 10

current issue
archive / search

    Getting help in emergency situation easy as 1-2-3

    In the event of an emergency on campus, dial 123.

    This is the message stressed by a University campaign to clarify the number to call in the event of an emergency on campus, said John Iannantuoni, Executive Director of Networking Services and Information Technologies.

    Because the University manages its own Private Branch Exchange (PBX), or telephone switch, it is important that emergency calls from a campus phone be made to 123. If 9-911 (the first 9 is necessary to dial outside the University's phone system) is called instead, the call will be identified to City of Chicago 911 dispatchers as the University of Chicago, with a generic University of Chicago address, and one of the many trunk telephone line numbers which connects the University's system to its local telephone carrier. The 911 operator will see neither the exact location of the telephone from which the call was made nor its telephone number.

    If a call is placed to 123 from a room in a residence hall, the University Police's answering display will show the telephone number, building location and room number from which the call was placed.

    The 123 emergency number is printed on every student's telephone template and most other telephones on campus as a reminder, Iannantuoni said. 123 should be called for any situation that requires emergency police, fire or ambulance services.

    "University Police -- 123 -- should always be your first call. They are always on campus and very close to any campus emergency," he said. "They will respond very quickly."

    The University emergency phone system also includes about 150 white phones on campus and around Hyde Park that connect directly to University Police and note the exact location for the dispatcher.

    To use the emergency white telephones, simply open the door and press the red button.

    "The University Police Department will be notified automatically. You should stay at the emergency telephone, which has a speaker phone without a hand set, and talk to the police if possible," Iannantuoni said. "Whether you are able to stay at that telephone or not, the police are dispatched to that location immediately."

    From a private residence, people should still call 911, Iannantuoni said. To reach campus police from a private residence, dial 702-8181. A project is underway to provide telephone numbers, building addresses and room numbers to 911 and University Police simultaneously, Iannantuoni said. "The University is very concerned about people's safety, and we want to do everything possible to ensure a safe environment. If this means providing double protection, as we do with our police force, we will do so." An announcement will be made when the project is completed. Until then, he said, in an emergency on campus, be sure to dial 123.