• By Albert Depew

The 9-1-1 Process

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What is 9-1-1?
9-1-1 is the number to call to summon sheriff, fire or medics in an emergency.

What is enhanced 9-1-1
E-9-1-1 routes the emergency call to the nearest public safety answering point (PSAP) which is closest to the caller. This means that from your home (landline) phone the 9-1-1 service is then enhanced when both your phone number and home location are provided to the 9-1-1 dispatcher. Cell phones with GPS features show latitude/longitude co-ordinates but it is still essential that you tell the 9-1-1 dispatcher where you are. newdispatch.jpg

When should I call 9-1-1?
9-1-1 was created for emergency purposes only.

What is an emergency?
An emergency is any immediate threat to life and/or property that requires a response from sheriff, fire or medical personnel. If you are uncertain if your situation meets these criteria you should call 9-1-1. It’s better to be safe and let the 9-1-1 dispatcher determine if you need emergency assistance.

Types of emergencies which should be called into 9-1-1
- Crimes in progress
- A fire
- Serious illness or injury
- Missing persons particularly children or elderly subjects

When NOT to call 9-1-1
- To get the time or date
- To get a phone number
- To report improper parking
- To find out weather conditions
- To get road conditions
- To report barking dogs
- To report stray animals
- To report missing pets
- As a prank

What to expect when you call 9-1-1
A trained 9-1-1 dispatcher will answer your call.  Depending on the nature of the call, you will be asked to answer a series of questions. Listen carefully and answer all questions. The dispatchers are trained to ask certain questions to obtain critical information in order to provide the highest level of public safety response. While the questions may seem unnecessary the information they obtain will help to appropriately classify the call and get responders to the correct location as quickly as possible. It is vital that you remain calm and speak clearly.  Know that help can be sent while the dispatcher is on the phone with you.

What questions will I be asked?
The dispatcher is trained to find out:

WHERE? Where is the incident taking place? Where is the fire? Where is the crime? Where is the patient? Where are you? Where is the suspect?

WHAT? What is the nature of the call? What are you reporting? What type of crime? What type of fire? Brush, structure, wildland? What kind of illness or injury.

WHO? Who is involved? Who needs an ambulance? Who are you? Who is the suspect?

WHEN? When did this happen? Is it in progress? Did it just occur?

WEAPONS? Are there any weapons involved? Does anyone have access to weapons?

SAFETY FIRST:  NEVER place yourself or other in danger. Do not attempt to apprehend or detain suspects.