What to expect when calling 9-1-1 in an emergency and tips for using 9-1-1 and the non-emergency lines appropriately:
Before the police, fire department or ambulance arrives, Calgary 9-1-1 is there. As the FIRST of the the first responders, 9-1-1 employees serve as the vital link connecting citizens to the help they need. Each year, Calgary’s 9-1-1 centre receives over one million emergency and non-emergency calls.
If you need to call 9-1-1 or a non-emergency line always remain calm, answer all the questions the 9-1-1 officer asks you, and stay on phone line until they tell you to hang up. The most important piece of information a 9-1-1 emergency communications officer needs is your location. If you don’t know where you are, there may be a delay in getting you the help you need. Many citizens assume that emergency responders can find them based on cell phone GPS. This is not true. That’s why it is so important to always pay attention to your surroundings and know your location –whether you’re at home, on the highway, or in a park.
Another way you can help emergency responders is by preventing accidental 9-1-1 calls. Each day Calgary 9-1-1 centre receives over 300 accidental calls. Officers have to call each of those callers back to confirm an emergency response is not needed. Not only does this take up a lot of time, but it also could be tying up an emergency line for someone who desperately needs help.
To avoid making an accidental call ensure your cell phone is locked before placing it in your purse, pocket or backpack. Also, remove the battery out of old cell phones before giving them to your children to play with. Even an inactive cell phone can dial 9-1-1. Finally, if you do accidently dial 9-1-1, do not hang up. Stay on the line and tell the officer what happened so they don’t have to call you back.
For more information visit http://bit.ly/911inyyc
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.