When to Dial 911?
An emergency is when immediate police, fire department, or medical assistance is necessary to protect
life or property.
If an emergency situation arises - a crime, a fire, a serious injury or illness - ask yourself
whether police, fire department or medical assistance is needed right now to protect life or
property. If the answer is YES, then immediately dial 911 and advise the 911 operator of what has
happened or is happening. If you are not sure if it's a real emergency, dial 911 and the 911 operator
will make the final determination.
If the 911 system receives several calls at the same time, emergency services handle these multiple
calls on a priority basis. The most serious emergency will be handled first.
No money is needed for calling 911 from a pay phone. If there is an emergency, you can just pick up a pay
phone, wait for the dial tone, and dial 911 without depositing a coin. You can also dial 911 from a
deactivated cell phone as long as the phone has power.
Please be advised that if you call 911 from a cell phone that has been deactivated from a service
provider, the 911 operator may not be able to determine your location as if you had called with a cell phone with
active service or a landline. Please try to convey your location immediately when calling 911 at any time, but
especially from any active or deactivated cell phone.