In an emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately from any wired or wireless phone. An emergency is any situation that requires immediate assistance from the police, fire department or ambulance.

Examples include:

  • A fire
  • A crime, especially if in progress
  • A car crash, especially if someone is injured
  • A medical emergency, such as someone who is unconscious, gasping for air or not breathing, experiencing an allergic reaction, having chest pain, having uncontrollable bleeding, or any other symptoms that require immediate medical attention

When you call 911 be prepared for the following:

  • Know your location! If we don't know where you are we can't get there!
  • Stay on the phone for as long as the 911 Telecommunicator directs you to.
  • Know that if it is a CPR in progress the 911 Telecommunicator will ask you first if you wish to provide assistance to the victim. If so, the Telecommunicator will guide you over the phone with directions on how to provide CPR.

What to do when the ambulance is on it's way.

  • Have house numbers that are large enough and visible to the ambulance! Trim back any vegetation that may block the numeric on your home.
  • If it's dark be sure to have the outisde light on.
  • If there is enough people send one person out to meet the ambulance so that we may get to the patient quicker!
  • Please have all weapons and pets put away prior to the ambulance arriving at your home.
  • Have a list of information ready such as Medications, Medical History and any Allergies to Medications 
  • If possible clear out a path to where the victim is. Enough to transport a stretcher to the patient.
  • Provide any DNR (Do Not Resusitate) immediately to the police officer or ambulance.

  • Teach your children how to use 911. Practice with a pretend phone, and make sure they understand it's important to call 911 only in an emergency!

  • If a medical condition is not life-threatening and it is safe to move the victim, consider driving to the hospital yourself. You will not get preferential treatment just because you arrived in an ambulance.

  • If you have access to a regular telephone, rather than a cellular phone, try to use the regular telephone. Not all cell phones are accurately enhanced in all 9-1-1 systems. 9-1-1 can be dialed on most pay phones for free.

  • Call 9-1-1 yourself. Do not call a friend somewhere else to call 9-1-1 for you. The emergency line in your area connects to emergency services in your area and generally traces your phone number so that help can arrive sooner. Having somebody else call instead could make it take longer for help to arrive.

  • Remain calm. Take a few deep breaths to relax if you feel yourself losing control. By remaining calm, you are best able to provide the dispatcher with the information that he or she needs to best help you.

  • Some 9-1-1 centers utilize a CAD (Computer Aided Dispatching) program that presents the dispatcher with a "script" that he/she must read to the 911 caller. The script is a series of questions and is dynamic. Based upon the answers the caller provides, the script will adapt itself and allow the dispatcher to gather all of the necessary information to dispatch emergency services. It is important to answer the questions asked, and provide as much information as is requested, whether it seems relevant or not. If, however, you do have information that seems relevant, but the dispatcher does not ask you for it, don't hesitate to mention it when it is appropriate to do so. Try not to interrupt the dispatcher when he/she is asking the questions.

  • 9-1-1 is reserved only for true emergency situations in which there is a definite, likely or uncertain threat to life, health or property. Be sure to dial 9-1-1 only when the situation you are reporting requires an immediate response by police, EMS or the fire department. Some communities offer an alternative number, often 3-1-1, for reporting important situations that do not meet the criteria of requiring an immediate emergency response, but require an urgent response by some public safety agency nonetheless. Check with your local telephone company or municipal government agency to determine whether such a number exists in your community, and to find out what it is. Some examples: a house fire, someone having a heart attack or a robbery are all situations for which it is appropriate to call 9-1-1. A call for a broken water line, unexpected disruption of phone or electric service or the infamous "cat stuck in a tree" are not appropriate 911 calls, unless there are detrimental secondary consequences (e.g. a family member at home is being maintained on some form of electrical life support and the power goes out; the broken water line is rapidly flooding your house, et cetera). These are obviously only a few examples, but one should get the idea.

  • If you witness an event that requires an immediate emergency response, call 9-1-1. It is not a good idea to assume that someone else will call 911. If everyone assumed someone else will call 9-1-1, no emergencies would ever be reported. When you call, try to provide as much information about the emergency as you can but never endanger your own well-being to gather info for the call-taker.

  • Calling 9-1-1 can make you extremely nervous, so before you ever need to call 911, place a small card on the wall near your main telephone. Write your name, address, intersections, and any other information needed on the card. If you have to phone 9-1-1, read the information from the card. You might be too nervous to even remember your name depending on the emergency reason.

  • If you are at a large business or school, you may have to dial another number (i.e. 9+911) to access 911. Other phone systems will put the call through with simply 911 even if they normally require dialing a code for an outside line.