What happens when I dial 911?
When you call 911, your call is answered by an emergency call-taker whose first responsibility is to find out if this is a true emergency: Is someone injured? Is there a crime in progress? Is there a fire? etc. If it is an emergency, the call-taker will handle your call. If the call-taker determines it is not an emergency, your call may be transferred to one of our non-emergency lines. You may experience a brief wait for one of the non-emergency call-takers to handle your call. You may also receive a recorded message. Do not hang up and call back. You will lose your position in the waiting order. Calls on the non-emergency line are taken in the order they are received.
Your call is handled the same way if you dial any of the other lines that are connected to the 911 Center, such as the numbers listed under "non-emergency" in the phone book.
The major benefit in dialing 911 instead of a 7-digit number from any landline telephone (besides the ease and speed) is that information about where you are is immediately available to the call-taker. For 911 calls the phone company provides the following:
* the phone number
* the address where that phone is located*
* who owns the phone
* which emergency responders serve that area
*IMPORTANT! This information must always be verified! For example, you may have just moved, or you may be in a complex (such as an apartment complex), which lists only one main address. You may also be calling for a situation that is occurring elsewhere. The call-taker will ask for specific address information, including the nearest cross-street where the problem is taking place.
Wireless 911 Calls
When you place a wireless 911 call it is not the same as calling from a landline. While wireless technology is improving, we probably won't get an exact location of the caller. Giving your location to the call-taker is vital.