April 9 - April 15 is National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.
More than 35,000 people die each year in traffic collisions (NHTSA, 2023). 911 telecommunicators provide help over the phone and get help to your location.
Show your gratitude to any 911 telecommunicators you know and tell them thanks. You can also share a story and sprout a leaf with the Tree of Life: https://911treeoflife.org/
Remember if you have an emergency you can call or text 911 for assistance (please note text-to-911 may not be available in all areas).
Below are answers to some common questions about calling 911 (911, 2023):
Q: What happens when you call 911?
A: 911 telecommunicators will follow their call centers protocols that guide the caller through a sequence of questions so that the telecommunicator can quickly obtain information necessary to dispatch the right responders to the right location. 911 telecommunicator may also provide instructions about what to do until help arrives. Remember to not hang up until the 911 telecommunicator instructs you to do so. Questions from the 911 telecommunicator may include:
- Location of the emergency;
- Phone number you are calling from;
- Nature of the emergency;
- Details about the emergency (e.g. physical description of a person who may have committed a crime, description of any fire that may be burning, or description of injuries or symptoms being experienced by a person having a medical emergency);
Q: Can I text 911 for emergency assistance?
A: If you need emergency assistance, it is always best to call 911 if you can, and text if you cannot call. To find out if text-to-911 services are available in your community go to: https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/what-you-need-know-about-text-911
Q: Can I dial 911 from a wireless phone without a wireless calling plan?
A: All wireless phones, even those that are not subscribed to or supported by a specific carrier, can call 911. However, calls to 911 on phones without active service do not deliver the caller's location to the 911 call center and the call center cannot call these phones back.
Want to become a 911 telecommunicator? Learn more about the minimum training for telecommunicators here: https://www.911.gov/projects/recommended-911-minimum-training-for-telecommunicators/