Tips for Calling 911
Call Immediately During an Emergency
If you need law enforcement, fire or EMS call 911 immediately.
Do Not Hang Up the Phone
If you do call 911, even by mistake, do not hang up the phone. 911 professionals are trained to get the most information as quickly as possible to get help on the way to an emergency situation. In an emergency situation, allow the call taker to ask you all the questions they need in order to get help there in the timeliest manner before you hang up or leave the phone.
If you happen to call by accident, stay on the line until you can tell the call taker that you called by accident and that there is no emergency. This saves the call taker from having to call you back and confirm there is not an emergency or from sending police to check your address for an emergency.
Pocket dial = Stay on the line.
Stay Calm & Answer All Questions
When calling 911, do your best to stay calm and answer all the questions. Staying calm can be one of the most difficult, yet most important, things you do when calling 911. It is very important that you stay as calm as possible and answer all the questions that the 911 call taker asks. The questions that are asked, no matter how relevant they seem, are important in helping get the first responders to you as fast as possible.
Teach Children When & How to Call 911
Be sure children know what 911 is, how to dial from your home and cell phone, and to trust the 911 professional. Make sure your child is physically able to reach at least one phone in your home. When calling 911, your child needs to know their name, parents' names, telephone number, and most importantly their address. Tell them to answer the call taker's questions and to stay on the phone until instructed to hang up.
Do Not Prank Call 911
Prank calls to 911 waste valuable time and resources. Also, IT IS ILLEGAL. Be sure all members of your household are aware that prank or harassing calls to 911 will be dealt with by local law enforcment agencies.
Post Your Address Clearly & Prominently on Your Home
Posting your address at the driveway entrance and on your home will alleviate any confusion as to whether emergency responders have the correct location. Try using something reflective or illuminated so that it can be seen in the evening as well as during the day.
Do not assume since your mailbox is marked that you have posted your address. Mailboxes are not always at the entrance of a driveway and usually are not marked clearly on both sides. Please report missing street signs when noted as these not only help others find your home but also emergency response personnel.
Know Your Phones
Educate everyone about the phone system in your home as well as your cell phone. Children may need to use the devices in an emergency and will need to know how to operate them.
Know Your Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) Phones
If you have a VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) phone, such as Vonage, please review the frequently asked questions and 911 tips for information on how 911 works with this technology