TIPS FOR CALLING 911
9-1-1 should only be used for an emergency. An emergency is a life-threatening situation, crime in progress, serious crime that has just occurred, etc. When you call 9-1-1, it is important that you remain calm and that you are prepared to answer the dispatcher’s questions.
The “Who”, “What”, “Where”, and “When” of the situation that you are reporting is extremely important. Sometimes it may seem that the questions are unnecessary, or may not make sent to you, but there good reasons for them. Please help the Dispatcher help you by providing brief and accurate answers to the questions. Patience on your part will help the Dispatcher get the right help on the way as quickly as possible.
When calling 9-1-1 it is important that you remain on the telephone line, even if you dial in error. If you dial in error and the call goes through; but you did not remain on the line, the Dispatcher is required to send police to the location that the call originated from to confirm that no emergency exists.
How to report an in-progress emergency
If you provide the Dispatched the following information, you will reduce the number of questions, and speed the police, fire, or emergency medical technicians to your location. Remember: Help is already on the way when you talk to the Dispatcher; they are just gathering information to pass along to the responding unit(s).
I am calling from …… (where you are now – the address or street location)
to report a ………(type of incident; i.e. burglary, assault, vehicle accident, fire, etc.)
that is happening at ……(where the incident is occurring)
My name is……….(your name and job title; if on the job)
The person committing the act is……..(where they are exactly)
The suspect(s) is described as…….(for each person involved)
Race……..(White, Black, Asian, Indian, Latino, etc.)
Clothes…….(from top to bottom)
The suspect(s) are associated with a car described as……(color, year, make, model, license number)