What to Expect When You Call 9-1-1

9-1-1 telecommunicators are trained to get the most important information as quickly as possible in order to get help to the scene in the timeliest manner. Do your best to stay calm and answer all questions.

Allow the telecommunicator to ask you all the questions they need before you hang up or leave the phone. Your answers will help dispatch understand your situation, and telecommunicators can assist you with your emergency until the appropriate police, fire, or medical units arrive.

*We utilize language line to assist individuals who may speak other languages. *

First Question: What is the location of the emergency?

Please provide an address, intersection, mile marker or, in the case of a wilderness or park area, the name of a trail or a landmark nearby.

A growing number of people use cell phones instead of traditional land line phones when calling 9-1-1. Telecommunicators are unable to receive a specific location from a cell phone call. It is important to know your location during an emergency so that you can provide that detail to emergency services.

Second Question: What is your emergency?

Telecommunicators will want to know the nature of the emergency to determine if police, fire, and/or medical response is required. 

*Please note: By answering additional questions, there is no delay in response time. Officers are immediately dispatched to your location. Additional questions are intended to ensure proper emergency support personnel and resources arrive on scene.  

9-1-1 Center

Always Follow Telecommunicator Directions

All 9-1-1 telecommunicators have been trained to provide instructions during child birth, CPR, Heimlich Maneuver and other instructions that can aid in saving someone's life. In other emergency situations, telecommunicators may ask that you stay on the line or they may tell you to leave the residence for your safety. 

Calling 9-1-1 for a Mental Health Crisis

If you have a loved one with a serious mental health condition, there may be times when they become a danger to themselves or to others. Though it can be a difficult decision for you, police intervention may become necessary for the safety of all involved. You can request police respond without lights or sirens and they will follow protocol to keep everyone safe. Our officers and fire personnel have been trained to properly respond to mental health situations and are able to provide you with support throughout the event as well as after.

Here are some tips to help you stay calm and clearly explain the crisis to 9-1-1 dispatchers (PDF).