Help Us Help You:
Your Guide to Calling 9-1-1 Emergency Services
9-1-1 NEEDS TO KNOW WHERE TO GO
• When calling 9-1-1, one of the first things you’ll be asked to provide is the location of the emergency you’re reporting.
• The call taker may not automatically know your location or may ask you to confirm it.
• Make sure you provide as much detail on your location as possible, such as landmarks, cross streets and mileposts.
KNOW YOUR CELL WELL
• The current 9-1-1 system is designed for voice communications only.
• Texting 9-1-1 is not an option in most at this time; you must dial 9-1-1 and speak with a call taker.
• Pull over when driving, if possible. This reduces the chance of a dropped call.
• Lock your keypad when you’re not using your phone, so 9-1-1 isn’t dialed by mistake. For the same reason, don’t put 9-1-1 on speed dial.
• Do not give old phones to children as toys. A wireless phone with no active service can still call 9-1-1.
• If you accidentally call 9-1-1, stay on the line and tell the call taker that you do not have an emergency.
• Calling 9-1-1 from a cell phone is always free and it is never necessary to dial an area code.
9-1-1 IS FOR EMERGENCY USE ONLY
• Call 9-1-1 for emergencies only. It is appropriate to call 9-1-1 when you need to save a life, stop a crime or report a fire.
• 9-1-1 is the right number to call in an emergency when a prompt response is needed.
• If you are not sure you have an emergency to report, call 9-1-1 and let the call taker decide.
KNOW HOW TO USE 9-1-1 WITH THE PHONE YOU OWN
• Before you need help in an emergency, be sure to understand how the type of phone you use affects your call to 9-1-1. It is important to know the capabilities of the device you are using (landline, cellular, VoIP).
• Cell phones may not automatically tell 9-1-1 where you are so be prepared to provide detailed information about your location.
REMAIN CALM, BE PREPARED
• Try to stay calm, give information and follow all instructions.
• Professional call-takers are trained to get information from you. Listen carefully and answer as concisely as possible.
• Remember that even if the dispatcher is still asking questions or giving instructions, help is on the way.
HELP 9-1-1 HELP YOU
• The more you know what to expect when you call 9-1-1, the faster 9-1-1 can get you the help you need.
• You can save a life! Follow all instructions the 9-1-1 call taker gives you, and don’t hang up until the call taker does. If you get cut off, call back and explain that you were cut off.