Calling 911

In an emergency with flames engulfing your house, someone bleeding from an accident, or a burglar in the living room, it's hard to remember or find the right phone number. Sometimes in a panic, it may even be hard to remember your name and address. In an emergency situation, that can take precious time: time you may not have. When seconds count, dial 911.

What Is 911?
The telephone number 911 is reserved for citizens to call when immediate help is needed from fire, police, or emergency medical services (EMS).

What Happens When You Call
Your 911 call routes over special phone lines to a 911 public safety answering point (PSAP) where trained emergency personnel will determine the type of emergency service needed. If necessary, your call will be transferred to the appropriate responding agency. You should stay on the line until you are told you can hang up.

When to Call
When immediate action is needed, it is a 911 emergency. Such situations may include:
  • A life-threatening situation
  • Immediate threat of danger to property
  • A crime in progress or about to occur
  • An ambulance is required
  • When there is a fire
Remember: If in doubt, call 911.

Non-Emergency Calls
Police, fire, and EMS maintain seven-digit phone numbers. Non-emergency situations include:
  • Calls for information (permits, licenses, travel conditions)
  • Calls to other municipal agencies (water, sewer, recreation, or utilities)
Contacting 911
When calling, 911 can be dialed from any rotary phone, touch-tone phone, coin operated pay phone, and credit card phone. Follow instructions given on pay phones. Cellular telephones may be used to call 911.

Cell Phones
Presently technology limits the ability to immediately know a cellular callers location. When calling 911 on a cellular phone, please be prepared to give the call taker detailed instructions to the location of the emergency. This may include address, cross streets, local landmarks, highway and mile markers, etc.

What To Do When You Call 911
Remember, when you call 911:
  • Stay calm
  • Speak clearly
  • Describe the emergency
  • Give an exact location
  • Answer all questions - Correct information helps speed the arrival of help
  • If possible, stay on the line until you are instructed to hang up
It is important to listen and do as you are instructed.