Help Us Help You!
When you dial 9-1-1, always remember the following:
- Stay Calm
- Answer all questions
- Follow the instructions you are given
- Don't hang up until the 9-1-1 Telecommunicator tells you to!
But what does that really mean? Let's break it down.
What do I need to know?
When you dial 9-1-1, the call-taker is going to ask you questions to determine three very important things:
- Where are you?
- Who are you?
- What is the Emergency?
Pinpointing your exact location is essential to sending the appropriate emergency responders to help you. To find out where you are, the 9-1-1 call-taker will ask for the address that you are located at and nearest cross-streets or intersections to you. The 9-1-1 call-taker may also ask you for any descriptions of where you are, such as color of the house, color or type of vehicle in the driveway, or for any businesses near by. It is never too early to begin teaching your children their address and telephone number! Repetition is the key!
It is also extremely important to establish who is calling. This information is gathered by asking for your name and for you to verify the telephone number you are calling from. This way, if the call is disconnected, the 9-1-1 call-taker can re-establish communication with you.
Determining the nature of your emergency is the third piece of essential information that a 9-1-1 call-taker will need from you. Briefly and accurately describing the problem will help the 9-1-1 call-taker understand if you need police, fire, or medical services. This information is then passed on to the emergency responders when they are dispatched, and helps them determine how they should respond, such as deciding what equipment may be needed and how many emergency responders should be sent.
Is Help Coming?
Yes! Help is on the way! You may feel frustrated by the many questions that you are being asked on a 9-1-1 call, particularly on calls for an ambulance. But you may rest assured that while one 9-1-1 team member is talking to you, another team member is sending out the appropriate emergency response service. At C.C.E. Central Dispatch, we take a team approach to handling calls whenever possible to ensure the fastest, safest, and most accurate service we can provide.