General Information and Reminders
- A call-taker is the member of the 911 team who answers 911 calls and enters information into our system. The dispatcher alerts and notifies the police, fire or ambulance of the emergency call.
- When calling 911, always remain calm and speak clearly. Allow the call-taker to ask questions. Your answers should be brief and responsive. If you are not in a position to give full answers to the call-taker (the suspect is nearby), stay on the phone and the call taker will ask you questions that can be answered "yes" or "no.”
- Briefly describe the type of incident you are reporting. For example, “I’m reporting a car on fire,” or “I’m reporting a home invasion.” Prepare to stay on the line with the call-taker – do not hang up until the call-taker tells you. In some cases, the call-taker will keep you on the line while the emergency units are responding to ask additional questions or to provide instructions.
- Be prepared to describe your location and the location of the emergency. Although an Enhanced 911 (or E911) system will display your telephone number and location, the call-taker must confirm the displayed address or might ask you for a more specific location of the situation. Cellular phones will not display the exact location for the call-taker. You must be able to describe your location so emergency units can respond to the correct location. Be aware of your current city or town, address, highway and direction, nearby cross-streets or interchanges, or other geographic points of reference. Be prepared to give the call-taker your complete location---city or town, address or location, inside or outside, what floor or room, etc. If you are traveling, pay close attention to your location and your surroundings. If you dial 911 while traveling, your call will be routed to the E911 center that is responsible for the county, parish or municipality where you are located.
- Be prepared to describe the persons involved in any incident. This includes their race, sex, age, height and weight, color of hair, description of clothing, and presence of a hat, glasses or facial hair.
- Be prepared to describe any vehicles involved in the incident. This includes the color, year, make, model and type of vehicle (sedan, pick-up, sport utility, van, tanker truck, flatbed, etc.) and tag number. If the vehicle is parked, the call-taker will need to know that information. If the vehicle is moving or leaves the scene, the call-taker will need to know the last direction.
- If you are in danger and can’t stay on the line with the 911 call-taker, do not hang up, lay the phone down where the call taker can monitor the call until the emergency response unit arrives.
- E911 employees cannot give callers legal advice. If you do call 911 for legal advice, we will offer to send you a police officer, direct your to call the police station or to seek legal counsel from an attorney.
- If you dial 911 by mistake, stay on the line to verify there is no problem. If you hang up, a uniformed police officer will be dispatched to your location.
- Make sure your children know their address and phone number.
- Your house number should be clearly posted and visible from the street, either day or night.
Post your phone number, address and directions to your address by your family phones.