You should only call 9-1-1 when you are reporting an emergency. An emergency is a situation in which emergency services will result in the saving of a life, a reduction in the destruction of property, quicker apprehension of criminals, or assistance with potentially life-threatening medical problems, a fire, a need for rescue, an imminent potential crime, or a similar situation in which immediate assistance is required. Do not call 9-1-1 for non-emergencies; this causes delays in the handling of real emergencies. If you have a non-emergency, you can call the Communications Center at 562-861-0770.
What should I expect when calling 9-1-1?
Listen to all instructions
Answer all questions completely
The dispatcher may ask you several questions depending on the nature of the problem. It is important for them to obtain as much information as possible for the safety of the responding units. If you are reporting a fire emergency, you will be asked by the dispatcher to stay on the phone if possible while you are transferred to the fire department. If the dispatcher asks you to stay on the phone until first responders arrive, please do so. You are the eyes and the ears of the dispatcher and can provide vital information to responding units.
Does the dispatcher know my location when I call from a cell phone?
Most mobile networks have the capability to provide GPS coordinates of your location, but it can have limitations, such as your proximity to the cell tower, or if you are inside a multi-floor building or an apartment complex. It is best to assume that the dispatcher does not have your exact location. Seconds count! It is important that you remain on the line with the dispatcher so that responding units are dispatched to the correct location.
What questions should I expect when I call 9-1-1?
Questions that you might be asked:
What is your location?
What is your callback number? (it is for our information only)
What is the emergency that you are reporting?
If a crime is involved or you see or saw the suspect, be prepared to provide a description so all officers can begin searching for the suspect.
Please be prepared to describe:
Sex, race, age, height, weight, hair color and length, color of eyes
Clothing - Hat or cap, jacket or coat, shirt, pants and shoes
Other pertinent information such as scars, marks or tattoos
Vehicle description (license plate number, color, year, make, model, style (2 door or 4 door), number of occupants, and any other unique features such as traffic collision damage or stickers. It is also important to know what the last direction of travel for the suspects or vehicles involved.