9-1-1 Guidance


Dial 9-1-1 Only in an Emergency

If it is not an emergency, dial the specific agency you need via the 10-digit number listed under non-emergency numbers.

Stay on the Line

If you accidentally dial 9-1-1, please stay on the line and let the dispatcher know that it was an accidental call. The 9-1-1 dispatcher is required to follow up on all 9-1-1 calls and verify the existence of an emergency. If we are unable to communicate with someone at the residence, we will dispatch police to check on the status.

Let the Call-Taker Ask You Questions

They have been trained to ask specific questions that will help prioritize the incident and send the appropriate agencies to assist. The dispatcher will ask you four important questions:

  • Where is the address of the emergency?
  • What is the nature of the emergency?
  • What is your name?
  • What is the telephone number you are calling from?

The dispatcher may follow up with additional questions, such as those relating to the subject's medical problem. These questions are asked in order to provide the ambulance crew, and in other cases the appropriate responding personnel, a clear, concise idea about what is occurring on the scene. This does not delay the notification of first responders. The alert of fire/rescue/EMS personnel is being conducted while you are on the phone.

Describe Your Location

If you are calling by cellular phone, please be prepared to describe in detail your location. Cellular calls do not automatically give us a location in the way land-line 9-1-1 does. If you are traveling, look for distinguishing landmarks, businesses, last exit number or mile markers. Be able to identify the direction in which you are traveling. Know the last town or city that you may have passed through.

Listen to Instructions

The dispatcher may assist you in performing CPR, direct you to leave the building or advise you to take other action to protect yourself.

Remain Calm

Talk slowly and in a clear and concise voice. The dispatcher may ask you to repeat yourself. This is done to verify with you that the dispatcher has the correct information.

Do Not

Hang Up the Phone

Do not hang up until the dispatcher has completed his call-taking process. The dispatcher may elect to keep you on the phone until help arrives. Remember that help has been notified. Keep the dispatcher advised of any changes with the current incident.