Using 911

What does 911 ask when you call?

Address and nearest cross street of the location where emergency responders are needed.

Type of problem. This allows the dispatcher to determine if you are in need of police, fire or medical attention.

Telephone number of the caller. This allows the dispatcher a number to call back in the event the conversation is disconnected and vital information still needs to be retrieved.

When the incident occured. This allows the dispatcher to properly prioritize calls for the quickest and most efficient response.

Is anyone injured? This also allows the dispatcher to send the appropriate responding emergency personnel.

Why do I have to give my address and phone number? Don't the 911 computers give that information?

Our Enhanced 911 (e911) equipment does provide information to the 911 dispatchers. This information is provided with the assistance of the local telephone companies. As with any computer system, errors in data processing can occur, making it essential for the 911 dispatcher to always verify the caller's information each time they call.

An incident does not always occur where the caller is at, which requires 911 dispatchers to verify exactly where the emergency responders need to go. There are also times when callers have moved, but kept their phone numbers. 911 dispatchers need to verify that all information is correct should a caller need help, but is unable to communicate with the dispatcher.