What Does The 9-1-1 Emergency Dispatcher Ask, And Why?
What is your emergency?
Explain briefly what the situation is and what sort of emergency service you need. You do not need to provide the full details at this point.
This question allows the 9-1-1 Emergency Dispatcher to determine the closest, most appropriate emergency service for you. Depending on the circumstances of the emergency, the 9-1-1 Emergency Dispatcher may link you directly with a police or ambulance dispatch centre. You will be instructed not to hang up and the 9-1-1 Emergency Dispatcher will stay on the line with you until they can confirm that the police or ambulance dispatcher is speaking with you.
Assistance based questions:
There will be additional questions concerning your emergency, answer the questions as best you can. These questions do not delay the arrival of Emergency Services, but this information is invaluable to the responders. If you don't know the answer to a question, that's okay, the 9-1-1 Emergency Dispatcher will help you.
What is your phone number & location?
Be prepared to give your phone number and the address or location of the emergency. Having correct information will help the right number of first responders arrive faster. If you don't know your exact location, that's okay, the 9-1-1 Emergency Dispatcher will help you.
The most important piece of information we need when someone calls 911 is the address of the emergency. Addresses come in many forms including a proper street address, your rural “blue” sign address or your LLD but emergencies might not be at a physical address or you might not know the address. When you call 911, a call-taker can enter an address as an intersection of two streets, or a commonplace name such as a school, mall, hospital, business or landmark. If you are exploring the many hiking trails or recreational areas make sure you pay attention to where you are such as, trail name, park name, direction of travel, etc.
When you call 911 from a cell phone, we receive an approximate location based on data provided from the cell phone including GPS. The accuracy of that location can vary based on a number of factors. This is why it’s important to provide us with an address or details of where the emergency may be.