Tips for 911 Reporting

call_911To report an emergency to 911, do the following:

2 Be prepared beforehand: Write down all pertinent information and post near phone.
When you call 911, you will be nervous and may even forget your address or nearby cross streets. So write all of this information down on paper before an emergency happens (see #3 below for pertinent information, in the order asked by operator), and attach it to the wall or near where your telephone is. Then, in an emergency, you can simply read off the information as the 911 operator asks you.
2 Call 911. Do NOT wait–call 911 immediately.
In an emergency, call 911 immediately. Why? Simple: “Better safe than sorry.” For example, fire can double every minute; seconds can make a difference. 
And don’t worry about “bothering them” or being penalized for something that may turn out not to be an emergency. In this case, the call will simply be cancelled. For such a “good intent call” your will not be charged or otherwise penalized. HOWEVER, if the fire is in your house, GET OUT IMMEDIATELY AND STAY OUT! Call 911 from a neighbor’s house.

IMPORTANT! If you or a child in your home dial 911 by mistake when no emergency exists, DO NOT JUST HANG UP. Hanging up could result in the 911 operator thinking that an emergency exists, and sending responders out. Instead, explain to the operator what happened.

2 Provide all pertinent information.
The 911 operators are specially trained to ask questions so they can quickly assess the situation and determine the initial course of action, including what you should do.
Stay calm, speak clearly, and stay on the phone until you are told to hang up. Be prepared (see #1 above) to give the following information when asked by the 911 operator (in this order):

  • Address. Emergency location address. NOTE: The 911 Caller ID may be showing a different address, for example, if you’re calling from your neighbor’s house. Make sure you state clearly what the emergency location address is, and tell the operator that it may not be what their Caller ID is showing. You should also provide the following information:

>> Name of house owner if you are renting, for example, ” . . . the house owned by the Jonses” (the JVFD may know your house better by name than address).

>> Distinguishing landmarks and/or physical reference points that will help Jamestown first responders find you as fast as possible, for example, ” . . . at the top of 16th Street, first house after the hairpin curve.”

  • City.
  • Phone number you’re calling from.
  • Nature of the emergency.
    For example, medical emergency, fire, or car accident.
  • Answers to any other questions.
    If the 911 operator has any other questions about the emergency, stay calm and answer them.
2 Stay on the phone until the 911 operator tells you to hang up.