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Public Safety

What to Expect When You Call 911



Most likely if you are calling 911, you are experiencing an emergency event that is not normal for you. When those emergencies are occurring, seconds may seem like minutes, and minutes may seem like hours.  You may become frustrated with the 911 call-taker because of the questions being asked.  Please understand that the call-takers are certified emergency tele-communicators and have been trained to evaluate and prioritize your call against other calls that may have been received.


The first and most important piece of information the call-taker will get, is your location.  Please make sure you have your 911 address available.  We cannot dispatch emergency units to a Post Office Box, or an RD address.  If you have an alarm system installed at your home or business, please make sure your alarm service provider has your physical 911 address.


After your location has been verified, the call-taker will ask a series of basic questions to quickly determine the nature of the emergency.  Once we know where you are and the what is wrong, we can dispatch help. If the call-taker determines that an immediate life-threatening emergency exists, they will request one of their partners to immediately dispatch the appropriate emergency personnel while the call-taker continues to gather more detailed information and provides pre-arrival instructions to you.  Pre-arrival instructions are what you can do to help the patient until help arrives.


Most likely, before the call-taker has completed the series of questions, the fire, police, or EMS agency has already been dispatched.



Click Here to Download and print an information brochure on "What to Expect When You Call 911".