What is 9-1-1?
Nine-one-one is the number most people in the U.S. and some in International countries call to get help in a police, fire or medical emergency. A 9-1-1 call goes over dedicated phone lines to the 9-1-1 answering point closest to the caller, and trained personnel then send the emergency help needed.
What is Enhanced 9-1-1?
Enhanced 9-1-1, or E9-1-1, is a system which routes an emergency call to the 9-1-1 center closest to the caller, AND automatically displays the caller's phone number and address. The 9-1-1 call taker will typically ask the caller to verify the information, which appears on his or her computer screen. In most areas, phone number and location information is not yet available for 9-1-1 calls made from a cellular/wireless phone, however, here in the South Bay, RCC is capable of determining cellular caller's location with its wireless 911 system.
Who pays for 9-1-1?
Each household or business pays a small monthly fee for 9-1-1 service on each telephone line that appears on their phone bill. There is no per-call charge for calling 9-1-1. However, EMS/ambulances dispatched through 9-1-1 may charge for taking someone to the hospital. This is a separate ambulance charge, not a 9-1-1 charge.
When should you use 9-1-1?
Nine-one-one is only to be used in emergency situations. An emergency is any situation that requires immediate assistance from the police, fire department or Paramedics. If you are ever in doubt of whether a situation is an emergency you should call 9-1-1. It's better to be safe and let the 9-1-1 call taker determine if you need emergency assistance.
Do not call 9-1-1:
For directory assistance
When you're bored and just want to talk
For paying tickets
For your pet
As a prank
If you call 9-1-1 by mistake, do not hang up. Tell the call taker what happened so they know there really isn't an emergency.
What about 9-1-1 prank calls?
It's a prank call when someone calls 9-1-1 for a joke, or calls 9-1-1 and hangs up. Prank calls not only waste time and money, but can also be dangerous. If 9-1-1 lines or call takers are busy with prank calls, someone with a real emergency may not be able to get the help they need. In most places, it's against the law to make prank 9-1-1 calls.
How do you make a 9-1-1 call?
In an emergency, dial 9 - 1 - 1 on your phone. It's a free call. You can use any kind of phone: push button, rotary, cellular/wireless, cordless, or pay phone (With some pay phones, you may need coins to get a dial tone).
Stay calm and state your emergency.
Speak loudly and clearly. Give the 9-1-1 call taker your name, phone number and the address where help is needed.
Answer the call taker's questions. Stay on the telephone if it's safe to do so, and don't hang up until the call taker tells you to.
What if a 9-1-1 caller doesn't speak English?
When necessary, a 9-1-1 call taker can add an interpreter from an outside service to the line. A non-English speaking caller may hear a short conversation in English and some clicking sounds as the interpreter is added to the line.
What if a 9-1-1 caller is Deaf, or hearing/speech impaired?
Communications centers that answer 9-1-1 calls have special text telephones for responding to 9-1-1 calls from Deaf or hearing/speech impaired callers.
If a caller uses a TTY/TDD, the caller should:
If a Deaf or hearing/speech impaired caller doesn't have a TTY/TDD, the caller should:
Call 9-1-1 and don't hang up. Not hanging up leaves the line open. With most 9-1-1 calls, the caller's address is displayed on the call taker's screen and help will be sent.