9-1-1 Frequently Asked Questions
When should I call 9-1-1?
The easiest ways to put it: to save a life, stop a crime, or report a fire. If you aren't sure, call.
What happens if I accidentally dial 9-1-1?
If you call by mistake, stay on the line. We understand it happens, especially with the rise of touch screen cell phones. Just let us know you are okay and don't have an emergency. If you do hang up, don't be surprised when we call you back to check on you. It's what we do.
What information do I need when I call?
The very first thing we need when you call 911 is the address where the emergency is occurring. Stay calm, the faster you can give us a location, the faster help will get to you. After you give your address, just stay on the phone and do your best to answer the dispatchers' questions. Even though we're still asking questions, another dispatcher has help on the way.
Why do I have to answer so many questions?
We understand that when you are in an emergency situation it is very difficult to answer all our questions. But every question we ask is for a reason. We need as much information as we can get from you in order to get you the help you need. While we are helping you with your situation, we also need to take care of the helpers we are sending to you. The more information you can give, the safer we can keep everyone involved on every side of the emergency. Again, just do your best to stay calm and answer all the questions you are asked. Help is already on the way.
Can my old disconnected cell phone still call 9-1-1?
Believe it or not . . . YES!!! If you keep the battery charged, a cell phone with no service will call 911. Great for if you are in an emergency and you happen to have one around. Not so great if you give that phone to your child to play with. You don't need to worry, we all do it. And while some of our favorite conversations here are the ones we get to have with your toddler, just take the battery out. Then your little one can play all they want and you won't have to worry about who they are talking to.
Do I have to leave my name when I call?
No you don't. You can choose to be anonymous. This means that your information will not be put into the call we create for the police therefore if a copy of the report is requested by a citizen your information is not there. However, we do have caller ID, and an officer can get your number to call you if they have to ask you for more information. Also, if you choose to be anonymous, sometimes the officer cannot solve the issue you called about. More action can be taken if the officer has someone to follow up with.