9-1-1 Tips

When Should I Call?

Calling 911: Call 9-1-1 when you need direct access to police, fire and medical assistance.

In an emergency: Call 9-1-1 to report a crime in progress, a fire, a serious illness or injury or any situation requiring an immediate response of the law enforcement, fire or ambulance services.

What the 9-1-1 Dispatcher needs to know: Speak slowly and clearly. Try to stay calm.

  • The dispatcher will ask many questions including:
  • The address where help is needed
  • The nature of the problem
  • Your name
  • A phone number where you can be reached

Do NOT call 9-1-1 for: road/travel information, legal advice, civil matter questions, telephone directory assistance, or community event information. A telephone directory or internet sites have this information and numbers.

Important: Call 9-1-1 first in all emergency situations!!!

  • Do not call family members or friends.
  • Do not attempt to transport a seriously ill or injured person.
  • We can get qualified help to the victim much faster and safer than you can get the victim help.
  • Stay on the phone and answer all of the questions. Do not hang up until told to do so. Help is often started as you are speaking.

Unintentional 9-1-1 Calls

Many false calls are generated to 9-1-1 due to cell phones being auto programmed or pre-programmed with a one button emergency feature to dial 9-1-1.  What Can You Do?

1. Disable Emergency Buttons. Check your user manual or contact your service provider to find out if your wireless phone has a pre-programmed emergency 9-1-1 button. If it does, find out how to disable it or lock it.

2. Lock Your Keypad. Most wireless phones have a feature that locks or disables the keypad to prevent accidental dialing. Please get in the habit of using it.

3. Don’t Hang Up. It is rare to be able to hang up a phone before it reaches the 9-1-1 network. Therefore, your misdial will reach the 9-1-1 PSAP. If you realize you have accidentally called 9-1-1, please stay on the line until the 9-1-1 dispatcher answers. 9-1-1 Dispatchers are required to call back all numbers that call 9-1-1 and hang up. You will save the dispatcher several valuable minutes by explaining that you accidentally dialed the wrong number rather than the dispatcher having to call you back to see if there’s a problem.