9-1-1 Tips

Important information you need to provide when you dial 9-1-1

About Calling 9-1-1

9-1-1 emergency response begins the instant a 9-1-1 calltaker picks up the phone.

First you will be asked to provide the location of the emergency. 9-1-1 does not always automatically receive your location from a mobile device.

Be Prepared

Always be aware of your location. If you don't know the address, try to find a mile marker, a landmark or a nearby business to describe your location.

Be Observant!

What you see, hear and feel are important pieces of information that can help save lives.

Critical Questions Your Calltaker Will Ask

1) What is the Location of the Emergency?

This is the first question you will be asked. It is critical that you provide the calltaker an address for your emergency. You will need to provide a mile marker number, an exit number or a landmark such as a nearby business name if you do not know the address.

2) Tell Me Exactly What Happened

Briefly describe the nature of your emergency.

3) What is the Phone Number You are Calling From?

Your calltaker will need to call you back if your call is dropped.

4) What is Your Name?

So we can locate you.

5) Are You at the Location Now?

Often people call from a different location other than the emergency scene.

6) Were Weapons Involved or Mentioned?

Knowing if weapons are involved helps your calltaker dispatch the proper agencies for the emergency.

7) Please Describe the People/Weapon/Vehicles at the Scene.

Types of Details Your calltaker Will Need to Know
  • Gender of people involved
  • Race/ethnicity of people involved
  • Clothing descriptions can help identify victims and perpetrators
  • Age
  • Type of vehicle and number of vehicles involved
  • Type of weapons at the scene. For example; handguns, rifles or shotguns

Gender, Age, Race and Ethnicity are important details that help us identify victims and people in need of help.

8) Do You See Smoke or Fire?

Your calltaker needs to know so they can dispatch the correct response unit. Whether you are reporting a car accident or a burglary in progress, smoke and fire are things you should look for and report.

When in doubt about calling 9-1-1 or not, you should proceed and dial 9-1-1.

It is never too late to begin building good habits of observation for yourself and your children. Learn more about what kids should know in emergency situations here.