Things You May Not Know About Calling 911

Many 911 call centers follow protocols that guide callers through a sequence of questions to quickly obtain information necessary for dispatching the right responders to the right location. Operators may also provide instructions about what to do until help arrives. Even though these procedures are designed to help 911 operators reassure callers and take charge of the situation, the experience can be stressful for someone calling for assistance who is not accustomed to dealing with emergencies. When you call 911, you will be asked the location of the emergency, the phone number you’re calling from, the nature of the emergency, and any details, including whether injuries are involved, a description of the perpetrator, or other relevant information. Be aware that the minute the 911 operator hears what's happening, responders are dispatched. The most important thing to remember is not to hang up until the 911 operator instructs you to. So, what happens when you dial 911 accidentally? If you or a child in your home mistakenly dials 911, DO NOT HANG UP. That could make the 911 officials think that an emergency exists and possibly send responders to your location. Instead, simply explain to the operator what happened. You may be wondering if you can text 911 for emergency assistance. Contacting 911 via text message is increasing across the country, but most communities aren’t set up for that method of providing assistance. If you’re in a situation where all you can do is text, it’s best to text someone you know and ask them to call 911 on your behalf.