What is 9-1-1?
9-1-1 is the universal emergency telephone number designed to give
citizens an easy-to-remember number to use when summoning police, fire, or
emergency medical services (EMS) for emergencies.
When Should I Dial 9-1-1?
If an emergency situation arises -- a crime, a fire, a serious injury
or illness -- ask yourself whether police, fire, or EMS is needed right
now to protect life or property. If YES, then immediately dial
9-1-1 and advise the 9-1-1 operator of what has happened or is happening.
Call 9-1-1 whenever you believe there is an emergency. If you are
not sure it is a real emergency, dial 9-1-1 and the 9-1-1 operator will
make the final determination.
If the 9-1-1 system receives several call at the same time, emergency
services handle these multiple calls on a priority basis. The most
serious emergency will be handled first.
No money is needed for calling 9-1-1 from a pay phone
How do I use 9-1-1?
Dialing 9-1-1 is the fastest, easiest way to communicate with local
police, fire, and medical services during an emergency. You do this
by simply waiting for the dial tone on your telephone, cellular phone, or
public pay phone, then dialing the number 9, the number 1, and the number
What Should I Say?
- Stay calm and speak clearly.
- State the emergency.
- State the location of the emergency, your name, and the phone number
from which you are calling.
- Listen carefully to the 9-1-1 operator.
- Answer the 9-1-1 operator's questions as accurately as possible.
- Do exactly as the 9-1-1 operator tells you during the course of the
- Never hang up on the 9-1-1 operator until you are told to do so.
Hanging up may delay emergency personnel from reaching you or the
Can the hearing or speak-impaired use 9-1-1?
Yes, in communities where 9-1-1 is available, like Sweeny, a
Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) is connected to 9-1-1.
Simply dial 9-1-1 and press the space bar for response.
Can I use 9-1-1 from a pay phone?
Yes. No money is needed for calling 9-1-1 from a pay phone.
Pick up the phone, wait for a dial tone, and then dial 9-1-1 without
depositing a coin. Just wait for a trained 9-1-1 operator to answer your
Should I Call 9-1-1 in a Non-Emergency?
DO NOT dial 9-1-1 for non-emergency situations. For non-emergency
situations such as noisy neighbors, animals at large, or to report a past
crime, use the police department's regular phone number, NEVER 9-1-1.
Never tell a 9-1-1 operator that a situation is more serious than it
really is. It is against the law to intentionally and knowingly give
false information to the police or emergency services. Abuse of
9-1-1 may delay someone else's access to emergency assistance.
Dial 9-1-1 when seconds count.
9-1-1 has many advantages:
- It is easy to remember in moments of stress.
- It is quicker to dial than a seven digit number.
- It is the number to use in summoning the police, fire, or emergency
medical services (EMS).
- If you cannot speak, the telecommunicator can trace your call
through the 9-1-1 system features.