When Should You Use 911?

911 is a reporting number. Call 911 to report an incident which you believe requires the response or intervention of a law enforcement officer, firefighter or emergency medical service. The professionals answering the 911 call will determine which agencies or units should respond and how quickly they need to reach the scene of the incident.

  • When a person is hurt or injured.
  • When a crime has been or is being committed.
  • When a motor vehicle accident occurs.
  • Any situation involving a fire.

Computers and monitors display the location and phone number where the 911 call originated. A typical 911 display will give the phone number of the caller, the civic address and the name of the telephone service subscriber.

911 is a free call from a pay phone. The address information from the coin phone is provided on the 911 display screen.

Cellular phones can call 911 as a free call. When a 911 call is placed from a Cellular phone, the Call-Taker at the answering centre will be informed that the call is a cellular call and will be shown the listed telephone number of the cellular company that is carrying the call. No location information can be provided, (because cellular phones are usually moving) so in that case the dispatcher is dependent upon the caller to provide location information, roadway, direction of travel, etc. It is possible that with the co-operation of the cellular phone companies that in the future more information could be displayed regarding the call maker.