911 Tips

ECC employee taking call

Since 911 is for emergencies only, it helps to understand when to call and when not to call. 911 should be used for crimes in progress, life threatening situations, medical/fire emergencies, and any unknown situation.

Here are some tips for when you make that call to 911:

  • Know the location of the emergency.
    Wireless 911 callers must be aware that the 911 call center that answers their call may not be the 911 center that services their area. Providing an accurate address when calling 911 is critically important. If you do not know the address, look for landmarks, cross street signs or buildings that may help the call taker to understand where you are located.
  • When calling 911 do your best to remain calm and answer questions.
    Staying calm is crucial when calling 911. Yes, we understand that it can be difficult at times, but it is important that you try to remain calm so that the call taker can get as much information as fast as possible from you. Sometimes, the questions that you are asked may seem irrelevant to you, but they may mean something to the responders.
  • If you do call 911, even by mistake, do not hang up the phone.
    Our 911 Emergency Call Takers are trained to get the most important information from you when you call 911. They are also trained to get it in a timely manner, which is as fast as possible. In an emergency situation let the Call Taker drive the call and ask you all the information that they need for a faster response. If you call 911 by mistake, please stay on the line and let the call taker know that you called by mistake. If not, the call taker is required to call you back and confirm that there is no emergency, which takes that call taker away from taking another incoming emergency call.
  • Teach your children how to call 911.
    Let your children know what 911 is and show them how to dial it from your home or cell phone. You should also teach your children to trust the call taker on the other end of the line. When calling 911 your child needs to know their name, telephone number, and most importantly their address. Make sure that they know to answer all the call takers questions and to stay on the phone until they are told to hang up.

There are certain questions to expect during your 911 call.

Our 911 call takers are trained to ask the 5 W's on all emergency calls. Those 5 W's are:

  • Where?
    This is the most important information that a 911 caller must have.
  • What?
    What is the problem that is causing you to call 911?
  • When?
    This helps to determine the urgency of the call.
  • Who?
    Who is causing the problem? Suspect description?
  • Weapons?
    Are there any weapons involved or present? Our goal is to keep our responders and citizens safe, so it is important to know if there is a weapon involved in the emergency.

911 Checklist to Remember

Remain Calm

  • Listen to and answer the questions being asked
  • Do not lose your patience
  • Do not tell the call taker to hurry;
  • Do not hang up until the call taker says it is okay to hang up

Downloadable Brochure with this information(PDF, 1000KB)