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An emergency is when immediate police, fire department, or medical assistance is needed to protect life or property. If an emergency situation arises – a crime, a fire, a serious injury or illness – ask yourself whether police, fire department, or medical assistance is needed right now to protect life or property. If the answer is YES, then immediately dial 911 and advise the dispatcher of what has happened or is happening.

  • Call 911 whenever you believe there’s an emergency. If you’re not sure it’s a real emergency, dial 911 and the 911 dispatcher will make the final determination.
  • If the 911 system receives several calls at the same time, dispatchers will handle these calls on a priority basis. The most serious emergency will be handled first.
  • When calling 911 to report an emergency, stay calm. Give your name, location and nature of the emergency. Answer all of the dispatcher’s questions as accurately as possible. Speak clearly and slowly. Do exactly what the dispatcher tells you during the course of the telephone call. Never hang up on the 911 dispatcher until told to do so.
  • Do not dial 911 for non-emergency situations. For situations such as noisy neighbors or stolen hub caps, use your law enforcement provider’s regular dispatch phone number, never 911. Never tell a 911 dispatcher that the situation is more serious than it really is. It’s against the law to intentionally or knowingly give false information to the police or emergency services. Abuse of 911 may delay someone else’s access to emergency assistance.
  • For senior citizens, invest in a touch-tone phone with large, easy to read numbers. The 911 system allows the dispatcher to “know” where you are calling from even if you can’t speak – for instance, if you’re experiencing a stroke or if there’s an intruder in your home. Just dial 911 and leave the phone off the hook. Do not hang up. Keep your medical history taped to the refrigerator in an envelope clearly marked with your doctor’s phone number(s).

The 911 Emergency System improves the safety or our citizens each and every day. It is your first source of help in times of crisis and it can mean the difference in life or death. When used properly, 911 saves seconds, and seconds can save lives.

911 Tips of the week brought to you by Communications Supervisor Kenneth Ennis

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