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911 for kids

911 Needs YOU to call them when it's an emergency!

An emergency is when you or someone else needs help from the police, fire or ambulance services right away. You don't have to be an adult to call 911, kids can, and do, call 911 if they need help right away. It's important that you know when to call 911 and don't call 911 for a prank or a joke. 911 is here to help you when you really need it. Remember to stay calm and speak slowly. Tell the 911 call taker what's wrong and where you need help. Stay on the phone until the 911 call taker tells you to hang up. You should know the address of your house or any house that you are visiting, like Grandma's. For more information on 9-1-1 print out our colouring book.

When you should call 911:

  • To get help for someone who is hurt.
  • If you smell smoke or see fire.
  • You see someone stealing.
  • If you see someone being hurt.
  • If someone is trying to hurt you.
  • If you are not sure if it's a real 9-1-1 emergency and there are no adults nearby to ask.

When you should not call 911:

  • For directions.
  • For help with your homework.
  • Because your mom made you eat brussel sprouts.
  • If your cat is up a tree.
  • If your dog is lost.
  • As a joke.
  • When you are bored and just want to talk.
  • When you miss the bus.

How do you call 911?

When you need to call 911 on your home phone or a pay phone you should:

  • Pick up the phone and listen for a dial tone.
  • Push the"9" button, push the "1" button and then push the "1" button again.
  • Wait for the 911 call taker to answer the phone.
  • You don't need money to call 911 from a pay phone, it's a free call.

When you need to call 911 on a cell phone you should:

  • Push the "9" button, push the "1" button and then push the "1" button again.
  • Press the green phone button or the "send" button.
  • Wait for the 9-1-1 call taker to answer the phone.

What questions will 911 ask you?

When the 911 call taker answers, they will ask you "what city" you are calling from. If you are in Calgary, say "Calgary".

A 911 call taker will ask you more questions to find out what type of help you need and where you are:

  • Do you need police, fire or ambulance?
  • What's your address?
  • What is your telephone number?
  • What is the emergency?
  • What is your name?

What you can do to help the 911 call taker

  • Remember to stay calm and speak slowly.
  • Tell the 911 call taker what's wrong and where you need help.
  • Speak up loud and clear when the 911 call taker asks you questions.
  • Stay on the phone until the 911 call taker tells you to hang up.

You should know the address of your house or any house that you are visiting, like Grandma's.

If you are not at home and are using a cell phone to call 911, it is very important to be able to tell the call taker where you are - the name of the street, the name of a business or school that you're at or close to, or any information that might help the call taker figure out where you are. Look around and see if you can see a street sign or a building with a name on it.

Never hang up the phone until the call taker tells you it's OK to hang up.

Prank calls to 911

Sometimes kids like to call 911 as a prank or a joke. But if a 911 call taker is busy handling a prank phone call, they are not able to answer other emergency calls to assist someone that is hurt or someone whose house is burning down. It is very important that you do not call 911 unless you have an emergency.

If you accidently call 911, don't hang up. Stay on the line and tell the call taker it was an accident. You won't get in trouble, they just need to know that you're okay. If you hang up, the 911 call taker has to call you back, and that might tie up the line for someone else who has a real 911 emergency.

Remember 911 is here to help you!