Everybody knows that if you ever find yourself in an emergency, one of the easiest ways to get help is dialing 911. However, did you know that dialing the 911 Emergency Number can result in serious consequences if it’s used to report false emergencies? In California for example, misuse of the 911 emergency number constitutes a misdemeanor crime. If you ever contemplate dialing 911 because you happen to be in a crisis, it’s important to assess whether the situation at hand is an emergency that actually requires the assistance of emergency services.
When to Call 911
911 should only be used for legitimate emergencies. This means that in order to dial 911, the crisis at hand should either be a life-threatening problem, a crime in progress, or a serious crime that has just occurred. These are examples of emergencies when 911 should be used:
- Armed robbery to person, residence or business.
- Assault with a weapon.
- In-progress burglary to a residence or business.
- Life-threatening medical emergencies such as; difficulty breathing, chest pains, etc.
- Physical altercations.
- Missing children.
- Traffic accidents where injuries are known or suspected.
- Airplane/train crashes.
- Any crime where a culprit is still at the scene or has just fled.
What to Do When You Call 911
- Dial 9-1-1: Dial 9, then 1, then 1 again
- State Your Emergency & Need: Tell the dispatcher what you need and/or what the emergency is, for example; “I need an ambulance/fire truck/police officer; there’s a burglary in progress/there’s been a car accident/ someone is having a heart attack, etc.”
- Give Your Name & Address: Pay attention to your location. If your address is different from the location of the! crime, be sure to let the dispatcher know. Dispatchers will verify your address and telephone to ensure that the telephone company address that is sent with the call is current and accurate. People living in mobile home parks, condominiums or on private roads, often have addresses that differ from the telephone company street.
- Offer Additional Descriptive Info: If possible, provide additional information to the dispatcher, such as suspect description, vehicle description, etc.
- Be Calm: When a caller is upset or hysterical, it’s difficult to understand what they are saying or to get vital information quickly.
- Don’t Hang Up, Stay on the phone until told Otherwise: Do not hang up unless told to by the dispatcher.
Remember, the questions that dispatchers ask when people dial 911 are critical. These questions determine what kind of assistance will be sent to the scene, so as much as possible, stay calm enough to be articulate with the information you share. And remember, once you’ve dialed 911 in an emergency situation, don’t hang up until the dispatcher is satisfied enough to release the call. If you like what you just read from our blog, you’ll love the various informative workshops and events listed on our website and social media. Whether you’re interested in personal development, or overall improvement of your business, give us a call at 1 (888) 823-7757 to find out how The RISE Programs Academy for Business Coaching and Leadership Training can help you break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success.