Is it Really an Emergency?

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News Date: 
August 19, 2022
  • When should I call 911?

You should call 911 for any situation involving, police, fire or a medical emergency.

  • How do I know if it is an emergency?

An emergency is any situation that requires immediate assistance from the police, fire department, or an ambulance. Examples of emergency situations include:

  • a fire
  • an immediate threat to life or property
  • a crime in progress
  • a medical condition requiring immediate medical assistance


  • How do I call police, fire or medical in a non-emergency situation?

Please refer to the list of non-emergency lines in the section of our website “POLICE /FIRE AGENCIES” and select the number for which the incident is occurring.  These calls allow the 911 lines to remain available for emergencies.

  • When I call 911, do they know my location?

If you are calling 911 from your landline telephone, the address will be displayed. If you are calling 911 from a cellphone or internet phone, a general area will be displayed. The call taker will always confirm your location. Be prepared to provide your actual location.

  • Why do I have to answer so many questions when I call 911?

Our 911 Dispatchers are trained to gather relevant information from you in order to ensure that we send out the right kind of services to assist you, whether that is an ambulance, police, firefighters, or a combination of all three. We require specific information in order to ensure that you are given the help you need. We can also provide potentially life-saving instructions to assist you until help arrives on scene.

  • What do I do if I, or my child, dial 911 by accident?

Stay on the line, do not hang up. If you call us by accident, please let us know that so we can cancel the call, and not send out emergency responders to your location. We won’t be upset to know you are okay and called 911 in error. If you do hang up, our personnel are required to call you back and determine if emergency response is needed regardless.

  • Can I text 911 for emergency assistance?

Yes, if at all possible, a voice call is best. Our slogan is, “Call if you can, text if you can’t.” Timely information is more difficult to obtain over a text call. Texting 911 is appropriate during situations where a caller cannot speak freely without jeopardizing their own safety. It is also appropriate for callers with hearing or speech impairments.


  • What does it take to become an Emergency Communication Dispatcher?

It takes a special kind of person who wants to serve the public. Emergency Communication Dispatchers are the lifeline between the community and first responders. They are a calming voice that can provide instructions and help during critical situations. They take pride in their profession and are a highly skilled, dedicated group of individuals who work diligently behind the scenes.

The minimum requirements to be an Emergency Communications Specialist are:

  • A high school diploma or equivalent
  • Ability to type a minimum of 35 words per minute
  • 18 years of age or older
  • Flexibility – ability to work, days, evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays.