Calling 911

Why am I asked so many questions?

Once a citizen is connected to 9-1-1, the Emergency Communications Speicalist follows a standard set of questions. If the caller is requesting an ambulance or the fire department, protocols are used that are based on a system that is used by many centers worldwide.

• What is the address of the emergency?
• What is the phone number you are calling from?
• Okay, tell me exactly what happened.
• What is your name and address?

The protocol also provides instructions to relay to the caller in life-threatening situations, such as CPR or how to control bleeding.

Are these questions delaying help being sent?

No, the questions ensure the appropriate response is sent and provides critical information to the responders. Often police and/or fire/EMS department personnel are dispatched after obtaining the location & problem, and the call-taker will continue to ask questions or provide instructions while the responders are en route.

What should I do if I call 9-1-1 by accident?

Please, stay on the line and inform the Emergency Communications Specialst  that you misdialed. When you hang up, it creates additional work for the Emergecy Communicaiton Speicalist. The call taker will have to call back to determine if there is a problem and even potentially send out police, fire, or EMS responders. Letting the call taker know it was a misdial saves time and resources.

Can I text 9-1-1?

You can place a text to 9-1-1 call in Jefferson County. Send a text to 9-1-1 just as you would text any other phone call. The call taker will reply back asking the address and nature of your emergency. Remember call if you can, Text if you cannot call. 

General Information

• 9-1-1 should not be used to report utility outages (power, gas, cable, etc), contact your provider.