Emergency Do's & Don'ts

  • Dial 9-1-1 for life-threatening emergencies and crimes in progress.
  • Know the following information:
    • Address of the emergency
    • Phone number from where you are calling
    • Description of the emergency
    • Your name
    • Your phone number for future calls to obtain more information
  • Briefly describe the type of incident you are reporting.
  • Let the 9-1-1 Operator ask you questions - they have been trained to ask questions that will help prioritize the incident, locate it, and quickly send help.
  • Describe your location and the location of the emergency, including city / town, address or location, inside or outside, what floor, room, etc.
  • Describe the person(s) involved in any incident.
  • Describe any vehicles involved in the incident.
  • Be patient as the 9-1-1 Operator asks you questions.
  • Listen to the 9-1-1 Operator's instructions for assistance if you are in danger yourself.
  • Give the victim reassurance that help is on the way.
  • Program 9-1-1 into your auto-dial telephone. Most phones have an emergency feature that will dial 9-1-1 by depressing and holding the number 9 key.
  • Dial 9-1-1 for non-emergencies.
  • Call 9-1-1 to "test" your phone.
  • Hang up if you reach a recording, and try to call back. Calls are answered in the order they are received.
  • Hang up the telephone if you dialed 9-1-1 by mistake. Instead, stay on the line and explain to the dispatcher that you dialed by mistake and that you do not have an emergency.
  • Hang up until the 9-1-1 Operator advises you that it is OK to do so.
  • Call 9-1-1 as a prank or joke. Accessing the 9-1-1 system for this purpose is against the law.