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Genesee County 911 Consortium



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Know how to call for help!

When you call 9-1-1 for an emergency it is important to try and remain calm and give as much information as possible to the 9-1-1 operator. It is important you listen to what the operator is telling you to do. Stay on the phone until help arrives or until the operator says its OK to hang up. The 9-1-1 operator will stay on the phone as long as you need them or until a police or fireman is there with you. Below are some steps to help you if an emergency occurs.

How to Dial:

  • Stay calm  

  • Make sure your know the exact location and address of the emergency

  • Pick up the receiver or turn on the phone and wait for the DIAL TONE

  • Dial or press “9”, then ”1” and then “1” again.

  • Wait for the ring and the 9-1-1 Dispatcher will answer

Never practice calling 9-1-1 on a real phone  

It is important you only call 9-1-1 when it s a real emergency. An emergency is when something happens and you need help from the police or the fire department or an ambulance. If you accidentally dial 9-1-1 DO NOT HANG UP. If you hang up 9-1-1 operators will think there is an emergency. 

What Do I Say?

  1. Stay calm and Speak clearly
  2. Listen carefully to the Dispatchers questions and answer each question carefully.
  3. Verbally answer all questions. Remember the Dispatcher cannot see your hand or head gestures.
  4. Tell the Operator what your emergency is.
  7. Do not hang up until the Dispatcher tells you it is OK to do so. They may need to ask additional questions about your emergency. The dispatcher may give you directions to help you. 
  8. Follow the directions the Dispatcher gives you and remain calm.
  9. If you can, stay by the phone in case the 9-1-1 Operator needs to call you back.   

What to Do if You Can't Speak?

  1. Stay calm
  2. Dial 9-1-1
  3. Either leave the phone off the hook or make some sort of noise to let the dispatcher know there is an emergency.
  4. With enhanced 9-1-1 providing your address, the Operator can dispatch police assistance to you.  


What about Dialing 9-1-1 From Your Cell Phone

  • Stay calm  

  • Make sure your know the exact location and address of the emergency.  9-1-1 Operators may not be able to see exactly where you are calling from. When you call from a Cell Phone it is important to know your address. Not knowing your location will delay response.

  • Dial or press “9”, ”1” then “1” again. Then HIT SEND.

  • Wait for the ring and the 9-1-1 Operator will answer.  


  • Teach kids to not hang up on an accidental 9-1-1 call. Inform the dispatcher that the call was an accident before you hang up. 
  • Do not pre-program 9-1-1 into your or your child's cell phone's speed dial. This can lead to accidental calls.
  • Teach young children how and when to dial 9-1-1 from a cell phone. Train them to press 9-1-1 and the “send” button only in an emergency.
  • It is important to remember that even cell phones without active service can dial 9-1-1. Take batteries out of cell phones before recycling them or giving them to a child to play with.  
  • Use or maintain a landline at home and at work for 9-1-1 calls, as the dispatcher is more likely to get accurate location information from a landline.
  • Using 9-1-1 in non-emergency situations prevents critical emergencies from being attended to.  


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