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911 Dispatch Center

How to Use 911

To call 9-1-1 from a home or simple business phone, pick up the receiver and dial the numbers "9-1-1". To call from a business extension, obtain an outside line and then dial the numbers 9-1-1. To call 9-1-1 from a payphone, no money is required. Simply pick up the receiver and dial the numbers 9-1-1. To call 9-1-1 from a cellular phone, dial the numbers 9-1-1 and press the "Send" button (this button is normally green in color). The 9-1-1 Telecommunicator may not know your location or your telephone number depending on the cell phone and network. Be prepared to give your cellular phone number and your location.

When should I call 911?

A: Anything that has just occurred or is still in progress that could be life threatening. A medical emergency which needs an ambulance, a fire, or any incident which has injuries or unknown injuries.

Some examples of when to call 9-1-1include:

  • When you see fire and/or smoke
  • When you or someone with you is in danger
  • When you see a crime in progress or a crime that has just occurred
  • When you believe an ambulance is needed because someone is injured or ill.
  • When someone is trying to gain access to your residence
  • When someone suspicious is prowling around your house or neighbor's residence


When should I NOT call 911?

A: Anything that has occurred prior (like yesterday, days before, or even weeks before!), the responsible party is gone, a report for insurance purposes only, or if no person or property is in danger. Please do not call 911 to ask directions or in any other non-emergency situation.

What happens when I call 911 accidentally and hang up?
A: The dispatcher will try to call you back. If the dispatcher reaches a child on the phone, he/she will ask to speak to an adult. An officer will be dispatched to the residence if no adult can be reached. If no one answers, an officer will be dispatched. If the line is busy, the dispatcher will attempt to break through with the help of an operator to see if it was a misdial or there is an emergency needing help.

Why can't you just take my non-emergency call on 911 when we are both on the line already?
A: We only have 12 incoming 911 lines for the entire city. Any major incident will cause numerous lines to ring regarding this one incident. (Large fire, major traffic accident, etc.) Those 12 lines can get tied up quickly. If we are taking your non-emergency call also on 911, a real emergency caller may reach a busy signal.