Making the Call
Knowing when to call and what to expect when you call 9-1-1 can help reduce fear and feelings of helplessness in an emergency. Critical elements to keep in mind are as follows:
- Know where you are. Could you tell 9-1-1 exactly where to find you?
- Provide the call taker with landmarks, such as cross streets and mileposts so they can locate you more easily.
- The call taker may not automatically know your location or may ask you to confirm it.
- Whenever possible, use a landline to call 9-1-1. Cell phone calls aren't always routed to the closest call center.
- Always be aware of your surroundings.
- Lock your keypad when you're not using your phone so 9-1-1 is not dialed by mistake.
- Do not give your old phones to children as toys. A wireless phone with no active service can still call 9-1-1.
- It is appropriate to call 9-1-1 when you need to save a life, stop a crime or report a fire. 9-1-1 is for emergency use only.
- If you accidentally call 9-1-1, stay on the line and tell the receiver that you do not have an emergency.
- If you dial 9-1-1 for a non-emergency matter, you are tying up resources that could be needed in a real emergency.
- Stay calm and ready to listen. 9-1-1 is there to help you until additional assistance arrives.