Questions about calling 9-1-1
When should I call 9-1-1?
In an emergency.
When you need help.
When you need the police, fire department or an ambulance.
How do I call 9-1-1?
Listen for a dial tone.
On a push button phone, push the numbers 9-1-1.
Who answers the phone when I call 9-1-1?
A telecommunicator answers the phone when you call 9-1-1. This person asks you questions to find out what kind of help you need, and then sends a police officer, fire truck or an ambulance to help you.
What to say when the 9-1-1 telecommunicator answers?
Tell the telecommunicator where help is needed, and give your name and address loudly and clearly.
Tell the telecommunicator what is wrong – what type of emergency it is.
Explain what type of help you need – fire, police or ambulance.
Answer all questions that are asked of you.
What not to do when you call 9-1-1?
Do not shake or nod your head. Instead, answer yes or no out loud.
Do not hang up until the telecommunicator says it’s okay to do so.
What to do if you can’t speak?
Dial 9-1-1 and leave the phone off the hook or make some type of noise to let the telecommunicator know there is an emergency. They will send help to you.
Helpful tips about calling 9-1-1
Always call 9-1-1 from a safe place.
If there is a fire in the house, get to a safe place before you call 9-1-1.
Know your address.
Have it posted near every phone. Kids and adults both have been known to forget their address and phone number during an emergency, so make it easy for everyone in the home by placing this information next to your home phone.
Never call 9-1-1 as a joke or prank.
You could get into trouble, your parents could get into trouble, and you could keep someone who really needs help from getting it.
9-1-1 is for people, not animals.
If you have a problem with a pet, call a friend or veterinarian. If you are not sure you have an emergency, call 9-1-1 and explain your problem to the 9-1-1 dispatcher.
If you call 9-1-1 by accident, please do not hang up.
When the dispatcher answers, explain that you called 9-1-1 by mistake and that you do not have an emergency.
Are you interested in more information about calling 9-1-1? We have information for children, teens, and parents available to download and print at home.