9 -1 -1 Guide

  • Stay calm - dispatchers can't help you if they can't understand you. Take a deep breath and think before you talk. Speak slowly and clearly.
  • Know where you are! Tell the dispatcher the exact address (apartment/suite number, intersection, interstate mile markers) where the help is needed. Pay close attention to your surroundings.
  • Answer all questions. The call taker will have questions for you and may even ask you to do something to help. It is important that you answer the questions as best as you can. DO NOT HANG UP unless you are in danger or the dispatcher tells you to do so.
  • State the nature of the emergency. Stay on the line to answer further questions the dispatcher may have.
  • Send someone to meet the emergency equipment if at all possible. It's hard to find an address on a dimly lit street in the middle of the night.
  • Teach your children how to call 9-1-1.  Be sure they know what 9-1-1 is, can dial from your home and cell phone, and trust the 9-1-1 call taker.  Make sure they are physically able to reach at least one phone in your home.  
  • When calling 9-1-1, your children need to know their name,  telephone number and especially their address.  Tell them to answer all the dispatcher's questions and stay on the phone until they're told to hang up.
  • If you call 9-1-1 even by mistake, do not hang up the phone.  If you call by accident, stay on the line until you can tell the call taker that there is no emergency, so the call taker doesn't have to waste time calling you back or sending police  to check your address for an emergency.
  • Prevent prank calls to 9-1-1.  Prank calls not only waste time; they are illegal in most states and endanger public safety.  If 9-1-1 lines or call takers are busy with prank calls, someone with a real emergency may not be able to get the help they need.  Be sure all members of your household are aware that prank or harassing calls to 9-1-1 will be dealt with by local law enforcement agencies.


                                                                                                                              Fairfax County Virginia, www.fairfaxcounty.gov/911/calling


Something that is often forgotten until its too late is home fire safety. Often we are so concerned with life's obligations and the headaches that come with home ownership , we sometimes forget about the chances of a fire destroying what we've worked so hard for or worse, being hurt or killed in one. 

No one likes saying "Would've , "Could've , Should've" and we especially don't want it to be because of a fire. That's why it's so important to establish home safety plans like EDITH, Having working smoke detectors , and knowing how to use 9-1-1.


The shocking truth is this :

In 2016 there were over 1.3 million fires reported which averages about 1 fire every 24 seconds, of those fires 3K+ people were killed and more than 12K were injured.  80% of these fires were in the home with cooking being the leading cause. What's worse is that only 3 out of 5 fire home fire deaths were in a home with working smoke detectors.  Folks we all understand that accidents happen but let us all work together to reduce these numbers and keep anyone from every becoming a statistic ! 


There is a TON of information out there for fire prevention , please stop by your local fire department or visit NFPA's website to find out how you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe!