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Tips When Calling 911

Posted: April 2010

Do’s and Don’ts.

Stay calm. Take a deep breath, don’t get excited. These simple tips can make it easier to get the 911 help you seek during an emergency.

  • Provide your location and the number right away. This informa­tion may be asked several times. As the call progresses, you will hear clicking — do not hang up!
  • ICE. Create a contact in your wire­less phone with the name “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) listing phone numbers of your emergency contacts.
  • Wait for the 911 dispatcher to ask questions, and then answer clearly.
  • If you reach a recording, listen. If the recording says your call cannot be completed, hang up and try again. If the recording says all dispatchers are busy, wait! You will be transferred to the next dispatcher. Remember, stay calm.
  • Let the dispatcher guide the conver­sation. They’re entering information into a computer. In the meantime, there’s a good chance emergency services are on the way.
  • Listen carefully to the dispatch­er’s directions. Follow each step precisely and ask them to repeat an answer if you don’t understand.
  • Do not hang up the call until directed to do so by the dispatcher.

Remember, the 911 dispatcher wants to help you as soon as they can. Stay­ing calm and following these simple guidelines can help during an emergency.

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