911 Information

Every day across this nation, thousands of people just like you seek immediate assistance in times of crisis by calling 9-1-1.
What is 9-1-1?

 

Nine-one-one is the number most people in the U.S. and some in International countries call to get help in a police, fire or medical emergency. In some places, you may be able to be connected with Poison Control by calling 9-1-1, but you should check with local officials in your area to make sure.

 

A 9-1-1 call goes over dedicated networks to the appropriate 9-1-1 answering point (PSAP) for the caller’s location, and trained personnel then send the emergency help needed.

What is Enhanced 9-1-1?

 

Enhanced 9-1-1, or E9-1-1, is a system which routes an emergency call to the appropriate 9-1-1 answering point (PSAP) for the caller’s location, AND automatically displays the caller’s phone number and address.

 

The 9-1-1 call taker will typically ask the caller to verify the information, which appears on his or her computer screen. In most areas, phone number and location information is available for 9-1-1 calls made from a cellular/wireless phone.

 

Who pays for 9-1-1?

 

In most areas each household and business pays a small monthly fee for 9-1-1 service that appears on their phone bill. There is no per-call charge for calling 9-1-1.

 

However, EMS/ambulances dispatched through 9-1-1 may charge for taking someone to the hospital; this is a separate ambulance charge, not a 9-1-1 charge.

 

 

When to use 9-1-1?

Nine-one-one (9-1-1) is only to be used in emergency situations. An emergency is any situation that requires immediate assistance from the police/sheriff, the fire department or an ambulance.

 

If you are ever in doubt of whether a situation is an emergency you should call 9-1-1. It’s better to be safe and let the 9-1-1 call taker determine if you need emergency assistance.

 

Do Not Call 9-1-1:

  • for information

  • for directory assistance

  • when you’re bored and just want to talk

  • for paying traffic tickets

  • for your pet

  • as a prank

 

If you call 9-1-1 by mistake, do not hang up. Tell the call taker what happened so they know there really isn’t an emergency.

What about Prank 9-1-1 Calls?

It’s a prank call when someone calls 9-1-1 for a joke, or calls 9-1-1 and hangs up. Prank calls not only waste time and money, but can also be dangerous.

 

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’s against the law to make prank 9-1-1 calls.

How to make a 9-1-1 Call.

 

  • In an emergency, dial 9-1-1 on your phone. It’s a free call. You can use any kind of phone: push button, rotary, cellular/wireless, cordless, or pay phone. (With some pay phones, you may need coins to get a dial tone; with many wireless phones, Enhanced 9-1-1 does not yet work.)

  • Stay calm and state your emergency

  • Speak loudly and clearly. Give the 9-1-1 call taker your name, phone number and the address where help is needed.

  • Answer the call taker’s questions. Stay on the telephone if it’s safe to do so, and don’t hang up until the call taker tells you to.

How does 9-1-1 handle different languages?

 

When necessary, a 9-1-1 call taker can add an interpreter from an outside service to the line.

 

A non-English speaking caller may hear a short conversation in English and some clicking sounds as the interpreter is added to the line.

 

 

 

What is text to 9-1-1?

 

 

 

Text-to-9-1-1 refers to the ability to send text messages to local 9-1-1 call centers during an emergency. Despite growing reliance on text messaging by millions of consumers, almost all 9-1-1 call centers today cannot receive text messages; they can only receive voice calls, about two-thirds of which are from wireless phones. A limited amount of caller data is automatically provided to the call centers, such as the caller’s location, which may be only approximate if the call is placed from a wireless phone or a large, multi-unit building.

 

In a Next Generation 9-1-1 environment, consumers will be able to make voice, text, or video "calls" from any communications device via Internet Protocol-based networks. Such calls may provide additional useful information to the 9-1-1 center, such as the caller’s medical history (if pre-approved by the caller), the schematics of a building, or images of an accident scene.

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