What if you dial 911 by mistake?

If you happen to call by mistake, stay on the line until you can tell the call taker that you called by accident and there is no emergency. This saves the call taker from having to call you back and confirm there is no emergency or possibly sending police/fire/ambulance with lights and sirens to check your address for an emergency.

Do not hang up. If you do, a 911 operator will verify the address from which the call originated and may in fact send a fire truck to that address to determine if a problem exists.

Be prepared to answer questions. If our call takers have any concern for your safety or feel there are suspicious circumstances, they will send police/fire/ambulance to check on you. Don’t program 9-1-1 into any telephone – speed dials cause accidental 9-1-1 calls.

If you’ve recently called 9-1-1, please delete the call from your cellphone’s call history to help prevent an accidental call in the future. If children use mobile devices, ensure they are informed on the importance of only calling 9-1-1 for real emergencies and how to prevent 9-1-1 calls made by mistake.

Finally, please do not test 911 to see if it is working.

What information should I be ready with when calling 911?

Staying calm can be one of the most difficult, yet most important, things you do when calling 9-1-1. It is very important that you stay as calm as possible and answer all the questions the 9-1-1 call taker asks. The questions 9-1-1 call takers ask, no matter how relevant they seem, are important in helping get the first responders to you as fast as possible.

When calling 911 you will be asked if you need Police? Fire? Ambulance? You will then be connected with the emergency service you require. You will hear the phone ringing again while the transfer is taking place, please stay on the line. The Fire Dispatcher will answer “Fire Department”, and take over your call and begin asking you questions about your emergency.

A call to 911 should only be used when a true emergency exists. Non- emergency calls to 911 can create delays in handling other very serious emergencies that require immediate assistance.

In the event of an emergency, be read with the following information for the Call Taker:

  • Description of the Emergency. Is it a fire, what’s on fire, is anyone inside?
  • Where’s the location of the fire/emergency, address, apartment number, building name, intersection, landmarks?
  • Is anyone hurt, missing, ill?
  • Any other questions the Call Taker feels is relevant to your emergency.
  • Stay on the line and follow instructions unless the 9-1-1 operator asks you to hang up.

Remain calm, speak slowly and clearly, and give direct answers to the questions that are asked. Help is on its way.

What is 911?

911 is an emergency telephone number that will connect a caller to a trained professional who can quickly route the call to the police, ambulance or fire department.

When to dial 911?

Dial 911 for emergencies only. For all non-emergency calls to the Windsor Fire and Rescue Services, please call 519-253-6573.