Alpena County E-911

Emergency Services Coordinator/911 Director

Burt Francisco

Things Everyone Need to Know

Things KIDS Need to Know


An informed caller is 9-1-1’s best caller. It’s important that you know how to help 9-1-1 help you. In an emergency, seconds matter, so being knowledgeable and prepared can make all the difference. Here’s what you can do:

In an emergency, the best thing that you can do is tell your parents, a teacher, or another adult you trust right away. But if no one is around you may have to call someone else for help. Here is what you need to know about where to find help and how you can make sure it gets to you FAST:

Know WHEN to call 9-1-1. 9-1-1 is for emergencies only. You
should only be dialing 9-1-1 if someone is hurt or in danger, or if
you are in immediate need of police, fire, or medical assistance. If
you aren’t sure if your situation is an emergency, you should err on
the side of safety and call 9-1-1 and let the expert who answers
your call make the decision whether to send help or not.

Know WHEN NOT to call 9-1-1. Don’t call 9-1-1 just because
you burned dinner and your guests are arriving any minute, or
because you are late for a meeting and need help finding an
address. While those situations may count as emergencies for
you, they aren’t for public safety. Inappropriate use of the 9-1-1
system wastes resources and ties up the lines at the 9-1-1 center,
and nobody wants to be on hold when they are in the middle
of a real crisis. Not to mention that in most states harassing or
making prank calls to 9-1-1 is a crime, and you don’t want law
enforcement showing up at your door.

Know the capabilities of the device you are using. 9-1-1 can
be contacted from pretty much every device that can make phone
calls (traditional landline, cell, VoIP), but the callback and location
information that accompanies your call to the 9-1-1 center can
vary drastically amongst technologies and between geographic
regions. 9-1-1 and telecommunications professionals are hard at
work to make sure 9-1-1 works the same on all devices in the
future, but until then it is your job to be knowledgeable about
benefits and limitations associated with various technologies.
Contact your service provider(s) for more information.

Know where you are. This is probably the most important
information you can provide as a 9-1-1 caller, so try to be aware
of your surroundings. Make a real effort to be as detailed as
possible. If you are outside and don’t know the street address,
take a look around and try to find landmarks or cross streets. If
you are inside a large building or one with multiple levels, you can
help emergency services by letting them know which floor you are
on, which apartment you are in, etc.

Stay calm. When you are on the phone with 9-1-1, you are their
eyes and ears. Even though you may want to, try not to panic.
If you are crying or yelling, it can be hard for the 9-1-1 operator
to understand you. If you are able to stay strong, pull yourself
together, and answer all of the 9-1-1 operator’s questions, the
faster they can get the right services to your location.

Never hang up. You may have called 9-1-1 by accident, or your
situation may have resolved itself, but it is important to let the
9-1-1 operator know this. If you end the call abruptly, the folks
at the 9-1-1 center are going to assume that something has gone
very wrong and will either call you back or send help anyway.
This will take away from the 9-1-1 center’s ability to take calls
and dispatch services to on-going emergencies, so make sure the
9-1-1 call taker tells you it is ok to disconnect before you hang
up. And keep in mind that the call taker can dispatch responders
to your location without disconnecting from the call, so, until you
are instructed to do otherwise, make sure to hold the line so that
you can provide any necessary information or assistance to the
9-1-1 operator.

Educational and Informational Resources

9-1-1 for Kids:

The Federal Communications Commission’s 9-1-1 Homepage

Know what happens when you call 9-1-1. After you dial, the
person who picks up on the other end will be someone who
works at a 9-1-1 center and whose job it is to help you. They may
ask you to do things to help or ask you questions. It is important
that you follow their directions as best you can. They will send
someone to wherever you are and stay on the phone with you
until everyone is safe.

Never hang up. Even if you called 9-1-1 by accident, or if you think
the problem has gone away, it is important that you stay on the
phone until the call taker tells you it is alright to hang up. It is
the call taker’s job to make sure that you are OK and that help
has gotten to whoever needs it. In situations where you aren’t
able to talk or have to leave, keep the phone off the hook so that
the 9-1-1 operator can hear what is going on in the room. Most
times, they will be able to use the computers at the 9-1-1 center
to find your address.

Know when to call 9-1-1. You should only call when someone or
something is hurt or in danger and you need a police officer, a
firefighter, or a doctor.

Memorize important stuff about you and your family. Being
able to tell the 9-1-1 operator things like your address, your
parents’ names, and your phone number will get help to you

Know where you are. If you aren’t at home and don’t know the
address where you are look around and try to find a street sign
or a building with a name on it so that the 9-1-1 operator knows
your exact location.

Try not to be scared. When you call 9-1-1, you become the eyes
and ears for the call taker. Help will get to you much faster if you
stay calm and can tell the call taker everything that is happening
and can answer all the call taker’s questions.
Know what 9-1-1 is. 9-1-1 is the phone number you can call from
any phone when you need help or you see someone who needs
help right away.

Know what 9-1-1 is. 9-1-1 is the phone number you can call from
any phone when you need help or you see someone who needs
help right away.

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