Below are some common questions concerning 911, and the use of 911. Click on one of the topics and you will be directed the answer.
- What is 911?
- When should I call 911?
- When should I NOT call 911?
- Why does the 911 call taker ask all those questions?
- How does the 911 call taker know my address?
- What if I am calling on a cell phone?
- Why does my cell phone call 911 by accident?
- What if I don’t know where I am when I call 911?
- How do I register for the Cell Phone Emergency Notification System (ENS)?
911 is an emergency telephone number that provides expedient access to law enforcement, fire and rescue departments, and emergency medical services.
Call 911 to obtain a response from law enforcement, fire, rescue, or emergency medical services. This includes reporting a crime, fire, hazard, accident, or medical situation.
- To get a telephone number. Call information (411) or check the telephone book.
- To report a power or cable outage. Call your local power or cable company.
- To get weather information. Contact the National Weather Service weather recording at (719)573-6846, the 11-News Line at (719)630-1111, or Automated Weather Observation at (719)637-9696.
- To get road conditions. Contact the Colorado Department of Transportation Road and Weather Hotline at 877-315-7623 or website www.cotrip.org.
- To get information about school closings. Check for closures on major television and radio stations, or contact the school.
- To get directions or an address. Most streets and a map are in your telephone book, or online using a web site such as Google Maps.
- To get household or automobile repairs. Contact a repair service of your choice.
- To get legal advice. Check in the telephone book or contact Pikes Peak legal services at 471-0380, The Lawyer Referral Service at 636-1532, or Crime Stoppers at 634-STOP (7867).
- To report an injured wild animal. Contact the Division of Wildlife at 227-5200.
- To report an injured domestic animal. Contact a local veterinarian or the Humane Society of the Pike’s Peak Region at 473-1741.
The 911 call taker, also known as the telecommunicator, is trained to ask you a series of questions. Some questions are always the same:
- “911, Where is your emergency?”
- “What is the telephone number you are calling from?”
- “What is the problem? Tell me exactly what happened.”
Once this initial information is determined, appropriate help can be dispatched.
Depending on the type of emergency, the telecommunicator may need to keep you on the line to provide further instructions or information until help arrives. The additional information gathered is helpful in aiding the responding field units. For example, if you are reporting a medical situation or accident, the telecommunicator will continue with a series of questioning. Be assured that while you are being asked those questions, appropriate help is being dispatched. In many cases, the telecommunicator asks the questions while another dispatcher is sending help.
When reporting an emergency, try to remain calm so the telecommunicator can understand what you are reporting so appropriate help can be dispatched.
If you don’t know the address you are calling from, many times your address and telephone number will automatically appear on the telecommunicator’s computer. This is not foolproof, however, and does not work with cell phones. The telecommunicator will always ask you to confirm your address and phone number.
Many of us use our cell phones, hang up, and set the cell phone in a holder or on the passenger seat. Many cell phones are pre-programmed to call 911 when a quick key is pressed. Be sure to lock your key pad so 911 is not accidentally dialed.
Currently, the El Paso-Teller 911 System has the capability of determining the location you call from when using a cell phone. Unfortunately, most cell phone companies are not offering this service. When you call 911 from any phone, be prepared to give your location and the phone number you are calling from.
At times, during emergency situations such as traffic accidents, you may not know where you are. The telecommunicator will ask you a series of questions to help you remember where you were headed, what roads you took, etc. Remember, it is your responsibility to take note of what street you are on, what cross streets you are near, what mile markers you passed, etc. Keeping your location in mind will enable the telecommunicator to dispatch help more quickly and efficiently.
You can simply click here to jump to the registration form to signup your cell phone for the Emergency Notification system. For information about the service, and what to expect should your phone receive a call, please click here.