Since the creation of the 911 emergency system in February of 1968, non-emergency related calls have flooded the operating services, slowing the response times for true emergencies. In October of 1996, Baltimore, Maryland invested in a non-emergency call service in hopes of alleviating the overburdened 911 system.
After implementing the 311 system, 911 operators received less non-emergency calls and can attend to urgent needs more quickly, ultimately saving lives.
The purpose of the 311 system is to report non-emergency issues such as deteriorating curbs or sidewalks, code and housing violations, blocked ramps, buildings without accessible signage, graffiti, potholes, blocked sidewalks, inaccessible parking issues, accessibility needs, streetlight outages, illegal dumping, public safety concerns, noise complaints, or other related issues. It can also be used to learn about your city’s local services and to ask questions relating to your specific community.
For individuals with mobility needs, this is a great tool to address concerns with accessibility issues in neighborhoods, buildings, parks, schools, and other frequently used community areas.
How Can You Observe/Support National 311 Day?
Check with your local community to see if they’ve implemented the 311 system and begin using it to report non-emergency issues. If your community doesn’t have, encourage your local government to implement it. Many cities also have 311 apps you can download, so check with your local government to find out. Educate your friends and family about 311 and encourage them to use it. Post on social media about 311 and National 311 Day with the hashtag #National311Day.
Fun Facts About National 311 Day
It wasn’t until 2020, when Google partnered with major cities such as Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Oakland, and San Jose that National 311 Day was born.
Today, the 311 system is available in most major cities and is spreading to smaller towns across the United States.
The 311 system invites citizens to become the key person of the city while more closely connecting the public sector with citizens.
National 311 Day is considered to be the best reminder that 311 is a resource for community’s connection of cities and non-emergency services.
311 Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Does every state have a 311 system?
A. No. About 2/3rds of U.S. states have a 311 system in at least one city but new systems are being adding continuously.
Q. Does the 311 system work with mobile phones?
A. 311 services works with some cellular phone providers, and about one-third of all 311 calls in the USA originate from cell phones rather than landlines.
Q. How do I find out if my city uses 311?
A. Visit your local or state government’s website to learn if 311 is available in your area. or click here for a complete list of US cities and states that use the 311 system.