Calling 911

Why am I asked so many questions?

Once a citizen is connected to 9-1-1, the Telecommunicator 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 Telecommunicator that you misdialed. When you hang up, it creates additional work for the Telecommunicator. The Telecommunicator will have to call back to determine if there is a problem and even potentially send out police, fire, or EMS responders. Letting the Telecommunicator know it was a misdial saves time and resources.

Can I text to 9-1-1?

Currently Jefferson County 9-1-1 cannot receive text messages, and if you attempt to send a text message you will receive a bounce back message indicating to make a voice call. The State of Tennessee is actively making updates in technology so that 9-1-1 centers across the State will be able to receive text messages.

General Information

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

Emergency Communications