When you are experiencing an emergency, you may be too panicked to properly convey information to 9-1-1 call takers. In order to ensure you get the fastest and most efficient response from 9-1-1, include the five following smart 9-1-1 tips.
- Call only in the event of a real emergency. You should call 9-1-1 in any serious situation where a law enforcement officer, fire fighter, or emergency medical help is needed right away. If you are unsure of whether your situation is an emergency, call 9-1-1. The 9-1-1 call taker can determine if you need emergency assistance and can route you to the correct location.
- Know your location. Your location is the most important piece of information you can offer to 9-1-1 call takers. Currently, mobile phone calls to 9-1-1 only provide a general location, not an exact address. By providing the exact location of the incident, first responders will know where to respond. If you are unsure of your address, describe your surroundings and use landmarks to help them locate you.
- DON’T hang up. Stay on the line and tell the call taker your call was an accident so they can record it in their system. If you hang up before speaking to them, 9-1-1 won’t know whether you are in danger or need assistance and will automatically dispatch help to check on the situation. This can waste valuable resources for other people who are experiencing emergencies.
- Pay attention to the questions asked and speak clearly. Calling 9-1-1 in an emergency situation can be very stressful and cause you to panic. It is important to listen carefully to the call taker’s questions and provide information as it is requested. Even if you feel that you have repeated yourself, the call taker must ask questions to verify the accuracy of the information and can better assist as soon as they are answered.
- Create and maintain a Smart911 Safety Profile. Visit smart911.com to give 9-1-1 valuable information about yourself, family members, your home, pets, and even vehicles that will automatically display on the 9-1-1 call taker’s screen when you make an emergency call. It’s private and secure and you control what information is in your profile. These details can save valuable seconds or even minutes during an emergency.
Remember these tips in case of an emergency and visit smart911.com/911challenge to be better prepared for any disaster your family may face.