What to Expect When You Dial 911

911 calltakers are trained, certified professionals who can help you during an emergency, but there are also a few simple things you can do to help the call-taker help you.

Most importantly, be patient, stay calm, and speak clearly throughout the call. Be ready to provide the location of the emergency, the phone number you’re calling from, and a brief description of what happened.

Answering Questions

Pay attention to the calltaker’s questions and respond clearly, answering all questions, no matter how necessary they may or may not seem to you. Do not object to answering any of their questions. 911 calltakers are trained to ask the questions necessary to determine the type of response for your particular emergency. Your answers to all the questions provide vital information responders need.

Stay On the Line

Remember, in most cases, help is already on the way as the calltaker continues to ask you questions and gather information. Calltakers pass your important information to responders en route to help them prepare for your emergency. The 911 calltaker may also give you immediate lifesaving instructions over the phone until help arrives. Follow these instructions carefully and do not hang up the phone until the calltaker instructs you to do so.