What is 9-1-1?
9-1-1 is the number most people in the US and some international countries call to get help in a police, fire or medical emergency. In some places, you may be able to be connected with Poison Control by calling 9-1-1, but you should check with local officials in your area to make sure. A 9-1-1 call goes over dedicated networks to the appropriate 9-1-1 answering point (PSAP) for the caller's location, and trained personnel then send the emergency help needed.
What is Enhanced 9-1-1?
Enhanced 9-1-1, or E9-1-1, is a system that routes an emergency call to the appropriate 9-1-1 answering point (PSAP) for the caller's location, and automatically displays the caller's phone number and address. The 9-1-1 call taker will typically ask the caller to verify the information, which appears on his or her computer screen. In most areas, phone number and location information is available for 9-1-1 calls made from a cellular/wireless phone.
When should you use 9-1-1?
9-1-1 is only to be used in emergencies. An emergency is any situation that requires immediate assistance from the police/sheriff, the fire department or an ambulance. If you are ever in doubt about whether a situation is an emergency, call 9-1-1. It's better to be safe and let the 9-1-1 call taker determine if you need emergency assistance.
Do not call 9-1-1:
• For information
• For directory assistance
• When you're bored and just want to talk
• For paying traffic tickets
• For your pet
• As a prank
If you call 9-1-1 by mistake, do not hang up. Tell the call taker what happened so he/she knows there really isn't an emergency.
What about 9-1-1 prank calls?
It's a prank call when someone calls 9-1-1 for a joke or calls 9-1-1 and hangs up. Prank calls not only waste time and money, but can also be dangerous. If 9-1-1 lines or call takers are busy with prank calls, someone with a real emergency may not be able to get the help they need. In most places, it is against the law to make prank 9-1-1 calls.
What if a 9-1-1 caller doesn't speak English?
When necessary, a 9-1-1 call taker can add an interpreter from an outside service to the line. A non-English speaking caller may hear a short conversation in English and some clicking sounds as the interpreter is added to the line.