What You Should Know About Calling 9-1-1


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Is there anything I can do to prepare for an emergency 9-1-1 call?

Yes. Even though 9-1-1 calls are usually unplanned, there are steps you can take to prepare.

  • Plan to call from a landline whenever possible.
  • Make sure your children know your home address and teach them how and when to use 9-1-1.
  • Remember that if in doubt as to whether someone is in distress or something is suspicious, call 9-1-1.
  • Create a Safety Profile at www.smart911.com to provide relevant information about you and your family to the 9-1-1 call taker and emergency responders. A profile is especially important in the event you are unable to communicate or speak.

When should I call 9-1-1?

You should call 9-1-1 in any serious situation where a law enforcement officer, fire fighter, or emergency medical help is needed right away. If you are unsure of whether your situation is an emergency, call 9-1-1. The 9-1-1 call taker can determine if you need emergency assistance and can route you to the correct location.

What should I do once I dial 9-1-1?

If you ever have to call 9-1-1, the following tips will make you better prepared in a possibly frantic situation. Do your best to remember these tips to make the 9-1-1 call go as smoothly as possible.

  • Attempt to speak as clearly and as calmly as possible. If you are getting overwhelmed, take deep breaths to help calm down.
  • Have an address or precise location to provide the call taker.
  • Listen carefully to the call taker’s questions and provide information as it is requested. Even if you have a Smart911 Safety Profile, the call taker must ask questions to verify the accuracy of the information.
  • Follow the instructions provided to you, unless you feel they will place you in danger.

What if I call 9-1-1 by mistake?

Don’t hang up! If you or your pocket accidentally dial 9-1-1, stay on the line until you can tell the call taker that you called by accident and there is no emergency. This saves the call taker from having to call you back and confirm there is no emergency or possibly sending police with lights and sirens to check your address for an emergency.

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