Frequently Asked Questions

Learn about 9-1-1, how we work and what you need to know to ensure a quick response time.

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9-1-1 is the number most people in the United States, and some other countries, call to get help in a police, fire or medical emergency. A 9-1-1 call goes over dedicated phone lines to the 9-1-1 call center closest to the caller. Trained personnel then send the needed emergency help.

9-1-1 is for emergencies only. You should only dial 9-1-1 if someone is hurt, in danger, or if you are in need of police, fire, or emergency medical assistance. If you are not sure your situation is an emergency, you should err on the side of safety and call 9-1-1.

The 9-1-1 calltaker is trained to ask a series of questions. Some questions are always the same:

  • “What is the location of the emergency?”
  • “Tell me exactly what happened.”
  • “What is the telephone number you are calling from?”

Once the emergency response is initiated, the calltaker will ask additional questions that will assist in providing a better, more accurate response.

There are times when you may not know the address of your location. The 9-1-1 calltaker will ask you to provide a mile marker number, an exit number or a landmark like a business name. Remember, it is your responsibility to take note of what street you are on, what cross streets you are near and what mile markers you passed. Keeping your location in mind will enable the 9-1-1 calltaker to dispatch help more quickly and efficiently.

The Calhoun County 9-1-1 Center uses LanguageLine, a service providing translation for over 140 languages.