When to Call 9-1-1

If you feel you are experiencing an emergency, please dial 9-1-1 immediately.

You should only dial 9-1-1 in emergency situations. An emergency is any situation that requires immediate assistance from the police, fire department or an ambulance.

If you are ever in doubt of whether a situation is an emergency, call 9-1-1, and the telecommunicator will determine if you need emergency assistance.

Telecommunicator working in Dispatch

988 crisis logo

If you are in need of assistance, but don't necessarily want or need an officer to be dispatched, you can call or text 988 and a Lifeline Counselor will be available to speak with you. These trained counselors will listen, work to understand your needs, provide support, and connect you with appropriate resources if necessary.

Examples of when to call 9-1-1

  • Medical Emergencies
  • Heart attack or stroke
  • House fire
  • Domestic violence
  • Burglary or theft in progress
  • Car accident with life threatening injuries
  • Suspicious activities

Examples of when NOT to call 9-1-1

  • For information
  • When the power is out
  • To report a broken fire hydrant
  • When your water pipes burst
  • To get a ride for a doctor's appointment
  • For your pet
  • As a prank

9-1-1 Practice for Kids

We are more than happy to assist you in teaching your children the proper way to call 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency. They should practice learning and saying their address, phone number, and parents' names. If you wish for them to make a practice call, please call 910-938-7585 and indicate that you are making a practice 9-1-1 call. You never know when an emergency will arise, and teaching children how to properly call 9-1-1 will ensure they are prepared for unforeseen circumstances. 

If You Call 9-1-1 By Mistake

If you call 9-1-1- by mistake, please do not hang up. If you happen to call 9-1-1 by mistake, remain on the line, state there is no emergency, and provide any requested information. This saves valuable time for the Center because we are required to call back and confirm there is not an emergency.

Prank Calls to 9-1-1 Aren't a Joke

It is considered a prank call when someone calls 9-1-1 for a joke, or calls 9-1-1 and hangs up. If 9-1-1 lines or call takers are busy with prank calls, someone with a real emergency may not be able to get the help they need. In most places, it is against the law to make prank 9-1-1 calls.