ROCKLAND COUNTY INTERGROUP AA ANSWERING SERVICE GUIDE FOR THE VOLUNTEER
You can contact the answering service chairperson using the contact form at the bottom of this page.
- At the start of the 12 hour service interval for which you have volunteered, CALL THE TELEPHONE ANSWERING SERVICE AT 800-827-8439 ACCT#4617, give them your first name, and check that they have your correct phone number.
- If you will be absent from your phone for any reason that you know in advance, inform the answering service as best you can estimate when you will leave and return. If you have another number (like a cell phone or pager) to which the call can be forwarded and you want to be contacted at that number, please call the answering service to let them know the other number.
- Remember: Answering service people are not AA people and there are several operators at the service office. You may not be talking to the same one each time you call. Make a note of the operator’s name.
- Answer your telephone promptly. Try to keep your phone free by minimizing personal calls and keeping them brief.
- Identify yourself by first name only when answering your phone so that the answering service knows they have reached the correct person.
- If you have a non alcoholic on the phone seeking information for professional reasons, refer them to the P.I. committee email at: email@example.com
- Don’t trust your memory. Keep a pad and pencil handy to jot down the information the answering service will provide to you. You may also find it beneficial to keep a current meeting list by the phone to help a caller find a meeting near them. If you don’t have one handy you can always use the online one at: www.rocklandnyaa.org Tell the caller about our website so they can also find a meeting for themselves.
- Return the twelvestep call promptly, identifying yourself by first name only. Make sure that you are talking to the party who called the answering service before you mention AA. NOTE: You may wish to press *67 before returning the call to block special services such as call return and caller id, which can allow the twelve step caller to call you directly or even get your phone number (see Important Phone Information on page 2 for details).
- Be courteous and compassionate, but establish as soon as you can whether the person calling is the person who WANTS HELP FOR THEMSELVES in accordance with our primary purpose. If not, the party should be referred to the appropriate numbers, as necessary (see Referral Numbers on page 2).
- You should not have to talk to the person for more than 5 or 10 minuets before you can establish the best way to be of service. It is suggested that you refer the call to a Twelve Stepper who resides in the same area as the caller. Remember, we do not provide taxis or babysitters. Make that clear.
- Tell the troubled person that you will have someone call him/her as soon as possible. If you are unduly delayed in reaching a Twelve Stepper, call the person back and ask them for their patience. The return call will be greatly appreciated by the caller.
- In the event that the party is threatening suicide, try to keep the conversation going and calm the party down. Keep talking and try to get the location and description of the threatening party. If possible, try to call the police on another line or by another means. If that is not possible, make an excuse to hang up to answer the door or go to the bathroom and call the police as soon as you hang up. Then call the person back and keep him/her on the line until the police arrive.
- If you are unable to contact someone on the Twelve Step call list when you are scheduled to go off duty, notify the next volunteer to follow up on the call. Again, the caller should be kept informed of any delays.
- Advise the callers referred by the courts that this is Alcoholics Anonymous and we do not give attendance reports or acknowledge membership in AA.
- Never give out a last name or phone number, even to another alcoholic. If the caller insists on speaking to a particular person and you have the number; you may place the call to the person and have them return the call.
- Do not identify yourself as associated with AA when calling the Twelve Stepper until you are sure you are talking with the Twelve Stepper, and not to another member of the family, a friend or babysitter, etc. This will protect their anonymity.
- In general, do not process a call unless it is from an alcoholic who wants help. Refer all other callers politely to one of the other appropriate numbers on the lists.
- You are not required to make calls to areas out of your calling area.
REFERRAL PHONE NUMBERS
- Clarkstown 845-639-5800
- Haverstraw (Town) 845-354-1500
- Haverstraw (Village) 845-429-5711
- Nyack/South Village 845-358-0206
- Orangetown 845-359-3700
- Piermont 845-359-0240
- Ramapo 845-357-2400
- Spring Valley 845-356-7400
- Stony Point 845-786-2422
- Suffern 845-357-2300
- Sheriff’s Patrol 845-638-5400
- State Police (Nyack area) 845-353-1100
- Palisades Parkway Police 845-786-2781
- Good Samaritan –Alcohol Clinic 845-368-5075
- Nyack Recovery Center 845-348-2070
- Rockland State Hospital 845-350-1000
- Rockland Children’s Center 845-359-7400
AA ANSWERING SERVICES & WEB SITES IN OTHER AREAS
(Please note – Links to external sites are furnished as resources but do not necessarily indicate endorsement by RCI)
- New York state meeting list www.ny-aa.org
- Bergen County, NJ 908-687-8566 www.nnjaa.org
- Nassau County (Long Island) 516-292-3040 www.nassauny-aa.org
- New York City 212-647-1680 www.nyintergroup.org
- Queens 718-520-5021 www.queensaa.org
- Brooklyn Intergroup 718-339-4777 brooklynintergroup.org/brooklyn
- Suffolk County (Long Island) 631-654-1150 www.suffolkny-aa.org
- Ulster County 845-331-6360
- Albany 800-252-6465
- Orange County 845-534-8525 orangenyaa.org
- Sullivan County 845-234-4841 www.scia-aa.com
IMPORTANT PHONE INFORMATION
There are two special services offered by Verizon, which may compromise your privacy when returning a twelvestep call: callreturn and callerid. Call –return allows a caller to press call you back by pressing *69 as many times as he/she wishes until someone else calls him/her. Callerid allows your telephone number to be shown to the person you are calling.
There are two options available to protect you:
- Press *67 prior to dialing each phone number. This will block both of these services.
- Call Verizon and ask for a permanent block of these services on your phone. This block costs no money, but may prevent you from calling certain businesses and service numbers, which require this block off to call them (to prevent “phony” phone calls). However, to call such a business, you dial *82 prior to each call to remove the block on your phone for that call only.