Ad set for Super Bowl illuminates more than domestic violence

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Jan 30, 2015 4:18 AM

Screenshot from the "No More" ad set for the Super Bowl this Sunday.

(Harrisburg) -- What happens when a domestic violence victim calls 911, but for whatever reason, can't say what's happening?

A Super Bowl advertisement hopes to bring attention to domestic violence, but it also illuminates an issue for 911 centers.

In the ad from the group "No More", a woman is heard calling 911 to "order a pizza", but as the call goes on, the operator realizes she's in danger by asking yes or no questions and eventually dispatches police.

In Dauphin County, operators will try to ask yes or no questions, just like the operators in the commercial.

The county's Emergency Management Director Steve Libhart says operators have to walk a line when taking calls that may sound like pranks at first.

"It's more based on experience and kind of your own intuition, whether you continue probing or whether you would think to yourself is this somebody that just doesn't actually need help but maybe had some other issues," says Libhart.

"You just take whatever information you can garner, and if you have to ask simple yes or no questions and you just get, 'Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, that's enough."

Libhart says the county dispatches police to incidents within 45 seconds of receiving a call and operators will always try to stay on the line if possible.

Those who need help can also text 911 in Dauphin County.

Other midstate counties, like York, hope to have that capability by the end of the year.

The ad is set to air just after the second quarter Sunday.

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