When do I call 911?
Call 911 when police, fire or ambulance is required, including when someone’s health, safety or property is in jeopardy or a crime is in progress.
Every non-emergency call to 911 may cause other 911 callers, who may be experiencing an emergency, to wait at a time when every second counts. Examples of received non-emergency 911 calls:
- “I need a tow truck.”
- ‘The power is out.”
- “What are the highways like?”
- “What time is it?”
In one year, The City of Red Deer 911 Emergency Communications Centre received:
- Over 9,000 hang up calls from cellphones
- Over 2,000 hang up calls from landlines
- Over 3,000 wrong numbers
- Over 600 prank calls
Never Hang Up on 911
Every time a call is placed to 911 and the caller hangs up, we must call the number back to ensure everything is OK.
If there’s no answer, police may be advised. It is quicker to advise us that it was an accidental dial.
We understand misdials happen and appreciate it when you let us know.
Calling 911 From a Cellular Phone
When you call from a cell phone, the 911 Emergency Dispatchers cannot find your location as quickly as when you call from a landline.
Know your physical location and tell the 911 Emergency Dispatcher where you are. If you are unsure of your address, provide directions using landmarks.
Do not text or tweet 911. Dial 911 in an emergency.
Text with 911
Text with 911 is now available for Red Deerians and Central Albertans who are deaf, deafened, have hearing loss or speech impairments. Text with 911 allows individuals with communication challenges to communicate with 911 using mobile devices.
How to use Text with 911:
- Individuals who are communication challenged must pre-register their mobile phone number by contacting their wireless provider directly.
- Dial 911 when you need 911. A call to 911 must always be placed first before any texting can occur.
- When a 911 call comes from a registered phone, 911 emergency dispatchers are immediately notified and can begin a texting conversation with the caller.
What does the 911 Emergency Dispatcher ask, and why?
Having accurate information speeds the delivery of the emergency service, and helps ensure an appropriate response.
When you call 911, first you’ll be asked: For what town or city?
The next question will be: Do you need police, fire or ambulance?
Once you identify the service you require, you may be transferred to another agency’s dispatch centre. You will be asked to stay on the line as your call is transferred to a 911 Emergency Dispatcher at the receiving agency.
Be prepared to give your phone number and the address of the emergency. Having correct information will help the right number of first responders arrive faster. Answer the questions as best you can.
911 Emergency Dispatchers are trained professionals and know what to ask and when to ask it and to dispatch the appropriate resources.
About Red Deer's 911 Emergency Communications Centre:
The Red Deer 911 Emergency Communications Centre provides 911 call answer services and emergency agency dispatch services for municipalities in the Central Alberta region. All municipalities in the counties of Clearwater, Ponoka, Lacombe, Red Deer, Mountain View, Stettler, Kneehill, Starland, Newell, M.D. 34, M.D. of Acadia, Special Area 2, Special Area 3 and The City of Airdrie.