When to use 9-1-1


  • Call 9-1-1 for emergencies only. It is appropriate to call 9-1-1 when you need to save a life, stop a crime or report a fire

  • 9-1-1 is the right number to call in an emergency when a prompt response is needed.

  • If you accidentally call 9-1-1, stay on the line and tell the call taker that you do not have an emergency.

9-1-1 Needs to Know where to go!

  • When calling 9-1-1, one of the first things you’ll be asked to provide is the location of the emergency you’re reporting.

  • The call taker may not automatically know your location or may ask you to confirm it.

  • Provide as much detail on your location as possible, such as landmarks, cross streets and Mileposts

Know How To Use 9-1-1 With the Phone You Own

  • Before you need help in an emergency, be sure to understand how the type of phone you use affects your call to 9-1-1. It is important to know the capabilities of the device you are using (landline, cellular,VoIP).

  • Cell phones may not automatically tell 9-1-1 where you are so be prepared to provide detailed information about your location.

  • Do not give old phones to children as toys. A wireless phone with no active service can still call 9-1-1.

Remain Calm, Be Prepared

  • Try to stay calm, give information and follow all instructions.

  • Professional call-takers are trained to get information from you. Listen carefully and answer as concisely as possible.

  • Remember that even if the dispatcher is still asking questions or giving instructions, help is on the way.

Help 9-1-1 Help You

  • The more you know what to expect when you call 9-1-1, the faster 9-1-1 can get you the help you need.

  • You can save a life! Follow all instructions the 9-1-1 call taker gives you, and don’t hang up until the call taker does. If you get cut off, call back and explain that you were cut off.

9-1-1 For Kids Link -