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Dos and Don'ts of 911

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Our 9-1-1 system is an enhanced 9-1-1 system this has the ability to display the caller’s address and telephone number for the dispatcher’s reference.

In general, 9-1-1 is an emergency number for any police, fire or medical incidents.

Non-emergency calls to 9-1-1 result in a flood of calls that our agency cannot promptly receive, answer or respond to.

Do not program 9-1-1 into your autodial telephone.

You won’t forget the number, and programming the number invites accidental dialing of 9-1-1. Also please do not dial 9-1-1 to “test" your phone or the system. This needlessly burdens the dispatchers and system with non-emergency calls.

Dial 9-1-1 only for an emergency.

An emergency is any serious medical problem (chest pain, seizure, bleeding), any type of fire (business, residence, vehicle), or any life-threatening situations (fights, persons with weapons, etc). You can also use 9-1-1 to report crimes in progress, whether or not a life is threatened.

If you dialed 9-1-1 in error, do not hang up the telephone.

Instead, stay on the line and explain to the Call Taker that you dialed by mistake and that you do not have an emergency.

If you hang up,

the Call Taker will call back to confirm if there is an emergency. If you don’t answer, a police officer will be dispatched to confirm that you are ok. This will needlessly take resources away from genuine emergencies.

Do not dial 9-1-1 for a non-emergency.

Instead, dial our non-emergency number 571-2580. A non-emergency incident is a property damage accident with out injury or an “old" break-in to a vehicle, theft of property or vandalism if not in progress. You should also use the non-emergency telephone number for intoxicated persons who are not disorderly or cars blocking the street or driveways.

Do not call 9-1-1 if your utilities such as power, gas, water, sewer or cable go out.

You will need to contact the correct utility directly; calling 9-1-1 needlessly burdens the dispatchers and system with non-emergency calls.

Calls to 9-1-1 are answered immediately by the dispatcher if one is available.

However if all the dispatchers are busy on other calls, you may have to wait for the next dispatcher. Do not hang up and call back. Stay on the line and your call will be answered.

When the dispatcher answers, give the address or location of the emergency and briefly describe the type of incident you are reporting.

For example, "I’m reporting an auto fire," or "I am reporting an unconscious person," or "I’m reporting a shoplifter.” Then stay on the line with the dispatcher-do not hang up until the dispatcher tells you to. In some cases, the dispatcher will keep you on the line while the emergency units are responding to ask additional questions or to obtain on-going information.

Let the dispatcher ask you questions.

They have been trained to ask questions that will help prioritize the incident, locate it and speed an appropriate response. Your answers should be brief and responsive. Remain calm and speak clearly. If you are not in a position to give full answers to the dispatcher (the suspect is nearby), stay on the phone and the dispatcher will ask you questions that can be answered with a “yes” or “no."