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911 should be used for emergencies only when there is imminent threat to life or property.
- You smell smoke or see fire.
- You witness or are the victim of a crime that just occurred.
- You witness or are involved in a serious accident.
- There is a serious illness or suspected poisoning.
- When a child, senior citizen, or special needs person who is lost, confused, frightened or needs specialized assistance.
- There is a situation that is potentially dangerous, and you aren’t sure who to call.
Tips for Calling 911
- Remain calm.
- Speak clearly and briefly state the reason you are calling. Be ready to give the phone number you are calling from and your full name.
- Know the exact location of the emergency. Point out any special landmarks, or information that could assist emergency personnel in finding your or the emergency quicker.
- Let the emergency communication specialist lead the conversation. They need to get as much information as they can, as quickly as they can, to help you in the best way possible.
- Stay on the line until the emergency communication specialist tells you they have all of the information and when it is ok to hang up. If it is not safe for you to remain on the line, you will be told immediately.
- Call 911 to stop a crime, report a fire, request an ambulance, and help save a life.
Teach children when it is ok to call 911 and when it is not. Remind them that calling 911 when there is not an emergency could keep help away from getting to someone who is truly in trouble and needs them. Children calling 911 should remain calm, speak clearly and remain on the line to answer all of the questions being asked by the emergency communication specialist.
While it isn’t the preferred method of communicating during an emergency, Adams County 911 can receive incoming text message to 911 and an emergency communication specialist will respond to them as quickly as possible. Be prepared to provide the same information that you would if you were making a voice call.
If you misdialed and call 911 by mistake, do not hang up. Wait until the call is answered and quickly explain that it was a misdial. If you hang up, the emergency communication specialist will try to call you back and if they don’t reach you, will dispatch emergency personnel to your location.
Did you know that you can call 911 from a cell phone, even if you don’t have a service plan? This could be a life saver if there is an emergency but please remember to remove batteries from these devices if you intend to allow children to use them as a toy once they are no longer needed.