911 Information

In the event of an emergency, prepare yourself with the following 911 tips: 

Is a person hurt or in danger? Do you need the police, fire or ambulance?

Have you ever wondered whether to call 9-1-1? Since 9-1-1 is for emergencies only, it helps to understand when to call and when not to call. An emergency is any serious situation where a law enforcement officer, fire fighter, or emergency medical help is needed right away. If you are unsure of whether your situation is an emergency, go ahead and call 9-1-1. The 9-1-1 call taker will route you to the correct emergency service.

If you do call 9-1-1, even by mistake, do not hang up the phone

If you happen to call by accident, stay on the line until you can tell the call taker that you called by accident and there is no emergency. This saves the call taker from having to call you back and confirm there is no emergency or possibly sending police with lights and sirens to check your address for an emergency.

When calling 9-1-1 do your best to stay calm and answer all questions

Staying calm can be one of the most difficult, yet most important, things you do when calling 9-1-1. It is very important that you stay as calm as possible and answer all the questions the 9-1-1 call taker asks. The questions 9-1-1 call takers ask, no matter how relevant they seem, are important in helping get the first responders to you as fast as possible.

Help the 9-1-1 call taker help you

Listen and answer the questions asked. By doing this, it helps the call taker understand your situation and will assist you with your emergency until the appropriate police, fire or medical units arrive.

Know the location of the emergency

The wireless 9-1-1 caller must be aware that the 9-1-1 center that answers the call may not be the 9-1-1 center that services the area that the wireless caller is calling from. Look for landmarks, cross street signs and buildings. Know the name of the city or county you are in. Knowing the location is vital to getting the appropriate police, fire or EMS units to respond. Providing an accurate address is critically important when making a wireless 9-1-1 call.

Teach your children how to call 9-1-1

Be sure they know what 9-1-1 is, how to dial from your home and cell phone, and to trust the 9-1-1 call taker. Make sure your child is physically able to reach at least one phone in your home. When calling 9-1-1 your child needs to know their name, parent's name, telephone number, and most importantly their address. Tell them to answer all the call takers questions and to stay on the phone until instructed to hang up.

Prank calls to 9-1-1 waste time and are illegal

Be sure all members of your household are aware that prank or harassing calls to 9-1-1will be dealt with by local law enforcement agencies.

Post your address clearly and prominently on your home

Posting your 9-1-1 address on your home will alleviate any confusion as to whether emergency responders have the correct location. Try using something reflective or illuminated so that it can be seen in the evening as well as during the day. 

Know the phones you own

Educate everyone about the phone system in your home as well as your cell phone. Children may need to use the devices in an emergency and will need to know how to operate them.

  • During a power outage phones that require an electrical outlet will not work; old analog phones will work
  • During internet service outages VOIP phones will not work; old analog or cell phones will work
  • Write your address and phone number in large print on, or near your telephone

Cellular phones

  • If you call 9-1-1 from your cellular phone, you must know your location
  • If your location is unknown, be prepared to describe it with cross streets

Internet phone service

  • Subscribers of Voice over Internet protocol (VoIP or broadband) telephone services may not have access to the 9-1-1 service
  • Taking your VoIP phone with you to another location may compromise your 9-1-1 service
  • It is the subscriber's responsibility to confirm 9-1-1 service details with their VoIP provider
  • Know your location if you call 9-1-1 using a VoIP phone

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