What happens when you call 9-1-1

All calls to 9-1-1 placed by residents of Rice County are answered by Emergency Services Dispatchers at Rice County 9-1-1 Emergency Communications. Emergency Services Dispatchers ask targeted questions to determine the exact location of the situation and what type of help is needed.

When you call 9-1-1, you will be asked a series of questions in order for Rice County 9-1-1 to pass along the most critical information to responding units. This process can take several minutes, if you don’t cooperate and answer specific questions that apply to your emergency. So, stay on the phone and answer as many questions as possible.

Medical Calls – All Emergency Services Dispatchers have received specialized training and national certification to handle medical calls for assistance. You will be asked detailed questions about the patient, injury and condition. Here are some questions you will be asked:

What is the exact address/location you need the ambulance to respond to?
What is the phone number you are calling from?
Tell me exactly what happened.
How many people are injured?
Is the patient conscious?
Is the patient breathing?
Is the patient completely alert and awake?

Law Enforcement Calls – All Emergency Services Dispatchers also have specialized training and national certifications for Law Enforcement calls. Depending upon the request for help, questions for law enforcement calls for service can vary greatly. Common questions include:

Where is the exact location the officer needs to respond?
Are you or anyone else in immediate danger?
When did this happen? Is it occurring now?
Does anyone have any weapons? If so, who has them and what kind are they?
Are alcohol and/or drugs involved?
Description of the vehicle(s) involved?

Fire Calls – All Emergency Services Dispatchers also have specialized training and national certifications for fire calls. Here are some questions you will be asked:

Are you safe and out of danger?
Do you see flames or smoke?
Tell me exactly what is burning?
What color is the smoke?

All of these questions help the 9-1-1 Emergency Services Dispatchers determine the most appropriate help to send you.

There are a few simple guidelines you can follow to help during this process:

Remain calm. This can be a challenge in an emergency situation, but staying calm helps you answer questions quickly and rationally, which in turn gets help to you faster.

Be patient. The emergency services dispatchers ask a series of questions that are designed to get help to you quickly. Depending on the type of call, help has already been dispatched while the emergency services dispatchers continue to ask additional questions.

Know your address. If you’re calling from a cell phone, Rice County 9-1-1 emergency services dispatchers may not be able to pinpoint your exact location. This is particularly critical if you are calling from an apartment complex or dormitory.

Rice County 9-1-1 Emergency Communications and all of the agencies we serve have a common goal: to ensure public safety by providing emergency assistance quickly and effectively. With an enhanced understanding of the processes that guide the work of both agencies, residents can help ensure that help will arrive when they need it.