Tips For Using 9-1-1

What to Say When You Call 9-1-1
  1. Stay calm and speak clearly.
  2. Listen carefully to the dispatcher's questions and answers.
  3. Verbally answer all questions. Remember the Dispatcher cannot see your hand or head gestures, signs or motions.
  4. State your emergency.
  5. State your address - it is very important to verify the address.
  6. Stay on the line.
  7. Do not hang up until the dispatcher tells you it is OK to do so. They may need to ask additional questions regarding the emergency, or an EMS dispatcher may give your instructions to help stabilize the patient before the ambulance gets to your location.
  8. Follow the instructions of the dispatcher and remain calm.
  9. If you can, stay by the phone in case the 9-1-1 call-taker needs to call you back.
What to Do If You Are Unable to Speak
  1. Stay calm.
  2. Dial 9-1-1.
  3. Either leave the phone off the hook or make some sort of noise to let the dispatcher know there is an emergency.
  4. With enhanced 9-1-1 providing your address for calls from a land line phone, the call-taker can dispatch police assistance to your location.
Reporting Crimes That Are in Progress
Pay attention to the following details so they can be reported:
  • Prepare a brief description of what occurred.
  • Describe where exactly the incident occurred, including the building, room, or area.
  • How long ago did the incident occur?
  • Did the suspect(s) have any weapons?
  • Which direction was the suspect headed?
  • Was the suspect on foot or in a vehicle?
  • What did the suspect(s) look like? Be able to describe each suspect 1 at a time giving the following:
    • Gender, race, age, height and weight, hair color and length, clothing, and glasses / facial hair
  • Was the suspect carrying anything?
  • Prepare a vehicle description, including the color, make, model, and license plate number
Additional Tips
You may call 9-1-1 using a land line, cellular or wireless device, or payphone. Be patient! Cellular / Wireless calls are not automatically routed to the correct agency. Often times, you may need to be transferred to the proper agency in that area.

Always stay on the line until call-taker has all the necessary information and always leave your phone on in case they need to call you back for more information. Remember, be prepared to give location of your call using landmarks, such as mile markers, billboards, etc. to describe the location of the emergency, if an address is not available.