How To Use 911


Q: What is 911?

A: 911 is a nationally recognized number that the public can call to request emergency assistance for police, fire, or medical emergencies. It is an easy number to remember during an emergency. Specially trained people known as “Telecommunicators” answer your 911 calls. Telecommunicators are trained to ask certain questions that are necessary in order to determine the nature of your emergency and the proper emergency service that is needed.

Q: What is an Emergency?
A: An emergency can be any type of incident where injury to people or property may occur. Examples of an emergency can be accidents with injuries, fires of any kind, medical emergencies, and any crime that is in progress.

Q: What is NOT an emergency?
A: It is not an emergency when the situation is not dangerous and immediate action is not necessary and the emergency is not life threatening. If you need assistance, do not hesitate to call the police non-emergency line at (336) 229-3500. Examples of non-emergency calls are a break in that has occurred but there is no suspect on the scene or a traffic accident without injuries. Do Not call the police to report a power outage, inquire on school closings, or to inquire about scheduled public events.

Q: What information do I need to give to the Telecommunicator when I call 911?
A: Always try to provide as much information to the Telecommunicator as possible. Remember the “Who, What, When, and Where” rule. This rule will provide: who is calling, what is going on, when did it happen, and where did it happen. These four questions are the basic information a Telecommunicator requires to provide timely assistance to an incident, however it is always better to provide the most information possible. Remember, the Telecommunicator is asking the questions so they can dispatch the proper number of police units to the proper location and to help ensure officer safety as well as yours. Do not hang up until instructed to do so by the Telecommunicator on the line.

911 Tips
Keep your address and phone number posted near every phone in your house. It is very stressful during an emergency and it is very easy to forget your address. By posting this information, you, as well as any visitors at your home, can dial 911 and get help quickly.

Speak clearly and calmly at all times. Do not yell into the telephone.

Listen closely to the questions and try to answer all of the questions that are asked by the Telecommunicator. Something that might not seem important to you now could be very important later.

Kids and 911
Make sure kids of all ages know how to use 9-1-1. Help your children learn their address and phone number at an early age.

Teach children to dial 9-1-1 only in an emergency.

If 9-1-1 is dialed by mistake, please stay on the line and let the Telecommunicator know there is no problem and it was a dialing error.

Teach children to call 9-1-1 if they feel they need help. Help your children learn the difference between a true emergency and a non-emergency call.