Using 9-1-1

New Mexico Public Safety Telecommunicators Association

Representing the New Mexico Chapters of NENA and APCO

Using the 9-1-1 System

Seconds count in an emergency!

When police, fire or medical emergencies occur, 9-1-1 can save precious time.

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However, since you might miss something interesting or important, we suggest that you browse thepresentation from top to bottom.

What Is 9-1-1? What To Do If You Can’t Speak
Benefits Of 9-1-1 Types Of Phones That Access 9-1-1
What Happens When You Dial 9-1-1 Dialing 9-1-1 On A Cellular Phone
What Is And Is Not An Emergency Ideas To Help In The Home
In An Emergency, Remember To… Taos Central Communications Agencies

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What Is 9-1-1

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  • There is only one telephone number to remember in an emergency, so you won’thave to look up the number for Police, Fire or EMS.
  • 9-1-1 eliminates the need to determine which emergency agency to call.
  • Thanks to Enhanced 9-1-1 technology, which displays your calling location, youdon’t have to be able to speak in order for the dispatcher to know youraddress.
  • All emergency agencies have devices called a Telecommunication Device for theDeaf (TDD) to communicate with hearing impaired callers.

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What Happens When You Dial 9-1-1

  • Your call is automatically routed to the correct PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point) based on your location.
  • With E9-1-1, your address and telephone number are automatically displayed on acomputer screen in front of the call-taker.
  • Based on the E9-1-1 information, the call-taker will either take your emergency information or transfer your call to the approprate agency.
  • If you call E9-1-1 by mistake, DO NOT HANG UP. The operator already has you address andphone number and will need to verify that is was a mistake call and not someone that needs helpbut did not stay on the line.

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What Is An Emergency?

  • An emergency is any serious situation where a police officer, fire fighter,or emergency medical help is needed right away.
Green CheckmarkEmergency

  • Accident with injuries
  • Fire (or smell of smoke)
  • Crime in progress
  • Breathing problems
  • Choking/unconscious person
  • Poisoning
  • Drowning
  • Stabbing, shooting
  • Fights or displays of weapons
  • Other life-threatening situations
Red XNot an Emergency

  • Minor accidents (no injuries)
  • Barking dogs
  • Late report of crime
  • Power outage during a storm
  • Abandoned vehicle
  • Loud parties
  • Weather and road conditions
  • Keys locked in vehicle
  • Runaways
  • Legal advice

If your call is a non-emergency, please callthe proper non-emergency seven-digit telephone number found in the phone book orthrough directory assistance.

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In An Emergency, Remember To…

  • Dial 9-1-1
  • Stay calm
  • State which emergency service you need:
    • Police/Sheriff
    • Fire Department
    • Emergency Medical Service
  • Speak clearly
  • State your emergency
  • State your address – it is very important to verify the address

9-1-1 Operators are trained to get as much information as possible regardingall 9-1-1 calls. Here are examples of the three most common 9-1-1 calls and the type of information that is needed to properly handle the call:

  • Automobile Accident
    • Give the street and block number or the nearest major location.
    • If there are injuries – be sure and advise.
    • Information such as Fuel Spill, possible fire danger, etc., is important.
  • Suspicious Person
    • Give the sex, race, and age of the person(s).
    • Give a clothing description.
    • Describe the suspicious activity.
  • Suspicious Vehicle
    • Get the vehicle description, color, make, model, year, and anything unusual aboutthe vehicle.
    • Are there people in the vehicle? If so, how many? Age? Race? Sex? Clothing description?
    • Is the vehicle parked or moving? If moving, the direction of travel.

    Exclamation MarkSTAY ON THE LINE!!! DO NOT HANG UP until the operator tells you.Exclamation Mark
    If you can, stay by the phone in case the 9-1-1 call-taker needs to call youback.

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What To Do If You Can’t Speak

  • Stay calm
  • Dial 9-1-1
  • Either leave the phone hanging or make some sort of noise to let the dispatcherknow there is an emergency.
  • With Enhanced 9-1-1 providing your address, the call-taker can dispatch policeassistance to your location.

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Types Of Phones That Can Access 9-1-1

  • Touch-tone
  • Cordless
  • Rotary
  • Cellular/Mobile
  • Pay phones (no money is needed – simply press the numbers 9-1-1)
  • TDD/TTY (Deaf and hearing impaired)

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Calling 9-1-1 On A Cellular Phone

  • If you are in your vehicle pull off to the side of the road.
  • Dial 9-1-1
  • Tell the call-taker the location of the emergency and your call back cellular phone number.Cellular calls do not have an address or location on the dispatcher’sscreen.
  • Be patient. Cellular/wireless calls are NOT automatically routed to the nearest or correct PSAP. Often times you may need to be transferred to the correct agency in thatarea.
  • NOTE: Often 911 calls from a cellular phone come in on a non-emergency phone line. If it is an EMERGENCY be sure and tell the operator, who answers the call, that it is an EMERGENCY!
  • Stay on the line until the call-taker has all the necessary information.

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Ideas to Help In The Home

  • Keep your phone at an easy to reach level, like on the coffee table.
  • A cordless phone offers mobility in the home.
  • Write your address and telephone number in large print on or near your phone.
  • Make sure your address is on the front of your house.
  • Do not program 9-1-1 into speed dial. It can inadvertently be dialed.
  • Be sure and teach your children how to use 9-1-1 for emergencies.

911 Line

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