Emergency Calls

Calling 911 in an emergency

You should call 911 when there’s a threat to someone’s health, safety or property and emergency help is needed right away. 

What to expect
A 911 Call Taker will answer the call with, “911, do you need police, fire or ambulance?” It is important to stay on the line with the Call Taker and answer all questions.

Expect to be asked for:

  • Your phone number
  • The community or location of the emergency

You will then be transferred to the appropriate emergency agency for response.

No-voice calls
All no-voice calls are presumed to be an emergency until determined otherwise. A no-voice call is when someone calls 911 and the telephone line is open and no one is speaking. 

No-voice calls can happen for many different reasons, like: 

  • Caller is unable or unwilling to speak, or is unconscious. 
  • Caller doesn’t understand the language spoken by the Call Taker.
  • The call is from a Teletype (TTY) device, used by people who are deaf or hard of hearing, or have a speech impairment. 
  • The caller accidentally dialed 911. 

The procedure followed by 911 Call Takers for no-voice calls to determine if it’s an emergency situation is as follows:

  • The 911 Call Taker will ask, “Are you able to speak freely”? 
    • If the caller answers “No”, then the call is treated as an emergency.
    • If there is still no answer, then the Call Taker must listen for anything in the background that can help determine the nature of the call and proceed accordingly. 
  • If the call is determined to be related to an emergency situation, or if there is any doubt by the 911 Call Taker, then a call trace will be completed to determine the location of the caller. 
  • Once the location is determined, the 911 Call Taker will contact the police and provide the details related to the no voice call and provide the location information.