What is a 911 Emergency Call?

An immediate threat to a person’s life or well-being, a crime in progress, a fire and/or medical emergency, and any unknown type of call.


What should you do when you call 911?

STAY ON THE LINE with the 9-1-1 operator unless doing so will put you or others in danger.  Staying on the line and answering the 9-1-1 operator’s questions will allow the 9-1-1 operator provide updated information to the responding officers.  Staying on the line will not delay police response, if fact, it will only enhance the chances of an apprehension.

The 5 W’s to remember when calling 911

  • Where: Where is the emergency occuring? At your location or another location?
  • What: What is going on? Why is this happening?
  • When: When did the emergency occur?
  • Who: Who is involded, give a description of suspects and/or vehicle including license plate
  • Weapons: Are there any weapons involved? What type of weapon and who has the weapon?

What if I call 911 from a wireless phone?

Be ready to provide the following information:

  1. Where is the emergency? Use the highway name, direction of travel, mile marker, nearest intersection, or landmark.
  2. What number are you calling from? Be ready to provide the telephone number of the phone you are calling from and always give the area code.
  3. What exactly has happened? Clearly describe what has happened for you to call 9-1-1. Examples are: Is it a fire, is a person unconscious, or was a crime committed?

Cell phones, depending on the information provided by the cell phone company, will either hit off of the nearest cell phone tower from where the person is calling from (Phase 1) or provide an approximate location using X,Y, coordinates. (Phase 2) The X,Y, coordinates is only an estimate and not the actual location of the caller.