911 Callers

How to Use 9-1-1

  1. Dial 9-1-1.
  2. Speak slowly and try to stay calm.
  3. Give the exact location where help is needed.
  4. Tell the dispatcher what is happening. For example, “I want to report a…” and then tell them the emergency. Is there a fire, accident, crime, illness?
  5. Answer all questions.
  6. DO NOT hang up until you are instructed to do so.

Digital telephone technology is extremely quiet. You may hear silence while your call is being processed. For the quickest response, be patient and stay on the line. (However, if after 15 seconds, there is still no response, please hang up and redial).


New:  Information on Text to 9-1-1 


When to Call 9-1-1

Call 9-1-1 for any situation which requires immediate response from law enforcement, fire or an ambulance.  This includes:

  • Medical emergencies
  • Structure fire
  • Domestic violence
  • Burglary or theft in progress
  • Grass fire
  • Car accident with life threatening injuries
  • Suspicious activities
  • Crimes in progress
  • Anything else that seems like an emergency or requires response from law enforcement, fire or EMS


When NOT to Call 9-1-1

Do not call 9-1-1 if an immediate response is not needed from law enforcement, fire or EMS.  This includes:

  • Requesting information/directions
  • Reporting a power outage
  • Reporting broken fire hydrants
  • Seeking legal advice
  • Requesting animal control service
  • Checking if someone is in jail
  • For other issues that do not require immediate response from law enforcement, fire or ambulance


Never prank call 9-1-1

Calling 9-1-1 as a prank call may delay or prevent those with real emergencies from getting immediate assistance.  In many areas of the country, it is against the law to make prank calls to 9-1-1.


Related Resources

9-1-1 Brochure

9-1-1 Brochure Somali
9-1-1 Brochure Russian
9-1-1 Brochure Hmong
9-1-1 Brochure Spanish
9-1-1 Brochure Thai