Emergencies need to be reported to 9-1-1. Trained dispatchers have the tools to dispatch the CLOSEST and most appropriate resources along with helping identify where the emergency is located. Remember firefighters are not always in the fire station, so they may not be able to answer the phones.
An emergency is any situation that requires immediate assistance from the fire department, ambulance or police. Examples include:
- A fire - A crime, especially if in progress - A car crash, especially if someone is injured - A medical emergency, such as someone who is unconscious, gasping for air or not breathing, experiencing an allergic reaction, having chest pain, having uncontrollable bleeding, or any other symptoms that require immediate medical attention
Important: If you’re not sure whether the situation is a true emergency, officials recommend calling 9-1-1 and letting the dispatcher determine whether you need emergency help. Please remember, you are not alone and there is a trained and certified individual who will help you through the process.
When you call 9-1-1, be prepared to answer the dispatcher’s questions, which may include:
- The location of the emergency, including the street address - The phone number you are calling from - The nature of the emergency - Details about the emergency, such as a physical description of a person who may have committed a crime, a description of any fire that may be burning, or a description of injuries or symptoms being experienced by a person having a medical emergency
Remember, the dispatcher’s questions are important to get the right kind of help to you quickly.
Be prepared to follow any instructions the dispatcher gives you. Many 9-1-1 centers can tell you exactly what to do to help in an emergency until help arrives, such as providing step-by-step instructions to aid someone who is choking or needs first aid or CPR.
Finally, do not hang up until the call-taker instructs you to.