9-1-1 is about providing the public with one simple, easy to remember number to be used in emergency situations.  An emergency is when immediate police, fire, or ambulance assistance is needed to protect life or property.

 If you need help immediately, dial 9-1-1.

 Here are just a few examples:

     -          A car wreck

-          Someone is choking on their food

-          A fire of any type – house, car, woods, etc

-          If you see a crime in progress

-          Someone is having or suspects they are heart attack or stroke

-          Any dangerous situation such as a gas leak or downed power line

-          Someone is drowning

-          Someone is hurt, or bleeding, or having trouble breathing

-          Severe weather such as to report a tornado sighting


What we need to know:

All you have to do is answer our questions.  Stay on the phone and answer the Communication Officer’s questions as calmly as you can.

You will be asked the following:

-          The location of the problem.  If you do not know the address, be prepared to help us locate an address.

-          The type of problem

-          Tell us in plain language what is happening/what is the problem

-          Details about the problem

-          The Communications Officer is trained to get information while the emergency units are responding – do not think that answering the questions will delay a response


Do not dial 9-1-1 if the problem is not an emergency

Look up the non-emergency number for the appropriate agency in the telephone book.  If you dial

9-1-1 for a non-emergency situation, someone with a real emergency might have a delay in receiving help.

Some examples of when not to dial 9-1-1:

-          Loud music or party

-          Barking dogs or other animal problems

-          To ask directions

-          To report power outages

-          To check on severe weather or road conditions


We recommend that you do not program 9-1-1 into your telephones speed dial.  

You will not forget the number and programming the number invites accidental dialing.

Do not dial 9-1-1 to test your phone or the 9-1-1 system.  

This needlessly burdens the dispatcher and the system with non-emergency calls.

When the Communications Officer answers, be prepared to answer their questions.  

 Stay on the line and do not hang up until the Communications Officer tells you to hang up.  Sometimes the Communications Officer will keep you on the line until emergency units have arrived to get additional information or timely updates.

Let the Communications Officer as you questions.  

 Communications Officers have been trained to ask questions that will prioritize the incident, locate it, and dispatch appropriate emergency response.

 Remain calm and speak clearly.

If you are not in a position to give full answers to the Communications Officer, stay on the phone and the Communications Officer will ask you questions that require only a “yes” or “no” response.


Follow the Communications Officers instructions.

 Communications Officers have been trained and certified in emergency medical dispatch, law enforcement dispatch and fire dispatch.

Their training has provided them with the tools to assist you until emergency service personnel can get to the scene.

 Listen carefully and follow the Communications Officer’s instructions.


If 9-1-1 is dialed by mistake, do not hang up on the Communications Officer.

          If you make a mistake and reach 9-1-1 by accident, do not hang up.

 Remain on the line and speak to the Communications Officer.

 As soon as your call is placed, your call is documented within the 9-1-1 system.

If you hang up, the Communications Officer must follow up with a return phone call to assure that an emergency situation does not exist.

If contact cannot be made, law enforcement will be sent to the address on the 9-1-1 screen.