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911 For Kids


When Should I call 9-1-1?

  • 911 is for emergencies only
  • It should never be used as a joke or prank
  • You should call 911 when there is a serious "people" emergency
  • When there is a REAL need for one of the following:
    • There is a crime and you need the POLICE
    • There is a fire and you need FIREFIGHTERS
    • Someone is seriously injured or unconscious and you need an Ambulance and Emergency Medical Response

How do I dial 9-1-1?

On a landline or pay telephone

  • What is a landline phone?
    • Landline phones come in many different styles.
    • The one thing that they have in common is that they must be plugged into a phone jack to operate.
    • Most landline phones are push button, however older phones have dial pads.
    • In addition there are many portable phones which may look a lot like a wireless phone.
    • Why don’t you identify all the phones your family use and know if they are a landline phone or a wireless phone.
  • What about pay phones?
    • Pay phones are located in public places and have push buttons. Older ones have a dial.
  • How to Dial
    • Stay calm
    • Make sure your know the exact location and address of the emergency.
    • Pick up the receiver or turn on the phone and wait for the DIAL TONE
    • Dial or press “9”, then “1” and then “1” again.
    • Wait for the ring and the 9-1-1 Dispatcher will answer
Dialing landline

On a wireless phone

Some of the other names people use for a wireless phone is celluar, mobile, or car phone.

  • Remember a wireless phone is not the same as a portable phone you might have at home
  • There are many different types of wireless phones
  • Never practice calling 9-1-1 on a real phone
  • Watch the video section: How to Dial 9-1-1
  • Remember you don’t need any money to call 9-1-1 on any pay phone.
Dialing Mobile

What do I say to 9-1-1?

  • Stay calm, speak clearly and be prepared to give as much information as possible regarding the emergency when the Dispatcher asks you.
  • Listen carefully to the Dispatchers questions and answer each question carefully.
  • Remember the Dispatcher cannot see your hand or head gestures, signs or motions. So verbally answer all questions.
  • The Dispatcher can only hear you, so answer all questions verbally.
  • Do not hang up until the Dispatcher tells you it is OK to do so.
  • Follow the instructions of the Dispatcher.
  • Remember remain calm and follow Dispatcher’s instructions.

Last update: February 17, 2016