Written By Destanie Ontiveros, NCT9-1-1 Communication Coordinator
Know your Location: How to Successfully Call 9-1-1
Calling 9-1-1 can be stressful and overwhelming at times. When there is an emergency and every second counts, it is important that the 9-1-1 caller knows their location. It’s important that you help 9-1-1 help you. In an emergency, every second matters, so knowing your location and being prepared to answer questions can make all the difference. Here is what you can do:
- Know your location
- Phone number
- Type of emergency
- Name of those involved
When 9-1-1 telecommunicators receive an incoming call, the first thing they need to know is your location. Emergency Communication Centers (ECCs) may not know your exact location. When you call 9-1-1 on a cell phone, the 9-1-1 telecommunicator does not have your exact location. They have your approximate location, which is usually within 100-150 meters of where you are. When 9-1-1 callers tell 9-1-1 telecommunicators their location, they can then send the appropriate first responders needed to the scene. By knowing your location when calling 9-1-1, you are saving time.
If you do not know your exact location, try to identify a mile marker, landmark, or nearby business to describe your location. Remember to stay calm when calling 9-1-1 and know your location as it helps 9-1-1 telecommunicators get help to you sooner. Here is what you can do to be successful in calling 9-1-1:
- Stay calm
- Wait for the 9-1-1 telecommunicator to ask questions, then answer clearly and calmly
- Follow all directions
- Do not hang up the call
It’s important to stay calm while talking to the 9-1-1 telecommunicator and try not to let your nerves get the best of you. When you are calling 9-1-1 for help, you are experiencing an emergency. In some cases, the 9-1-1 telecommunicator will give you direction. Listen carefully, follow each step exactly, and ask for clarification if you don’t understand. Always remember, do not hang up the call until directed to do so by the 9-1-1 telecommunicator.