When do I call 9-1-1?
Call 9-1-1 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 9-1-1 may cause other 9-1-1 callers, who may be experiencing an emergency, to wait at a time when every second counts. Examples of received non-emergency 9-1-1 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 9-1-1 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 9-1-1
Every time a call is placed to 9-1-1 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 9-1-1 From a Cellular Phone
When you call from a cell phone, the 9-1-1 Emergency Dispatchers cannot find your location as quickly as when you call from a landline.
Know your physical location and tell the 9-1-1 Emergency Dispatcher where you are. If you are unsure of your address, provide directions using landmarks.
Do not text or tweet 9-1-1. Dial 9-1-1 in an emergency.
Text with 9-1-1
Text with 9-1-1 is now available for Red Deerians and Central Albertans who are deaf, deafened, have hearing loss or speech impairments. Text with 9-1-1 allows individuals with communication challenges to communicate with 9-1-1 using mobile devices.
How to use Text with 9-1-1:
- Individuals who are communication challenged must pre-register their mobile phone number by contacting their wireless provider directly.
- Dial 9-1-1 when you need 9-1-1. A call to 9-1-1 must always be placed first before any texting can occur.
- When a 9-1-1 call comes from a registered phone, 9-1-1 emergency dispatchers are immediately notified and can begin a texting conversation with the caller.
What does the 9-1-1 Emergency Dispatcher ask, and why?
Having accurate information speeds the delivery of the emergency service, and helps ensure an appropriate response.
When you call 9-1-1, first you’ll be asked: For what town or city?
The next question will be: What is your emergency?
These questions allow the 9-1-1 Emergency Dispatcher to determine the closest, most appropriate emergency service for you. Depending on the circumstances of the emergency, the 9-1-1 Emergency Dispatcher may link you directly with a police or ambulance dispatch centre. You will be instructed not to hang up and the 9-1-1 Emergency Dispatcher will stay on the line with you until they can confirm that the police or ambulance dispatcher is speaking with you.
Be prepared to give your phone number and the address or location of the emergency. Having correct information will help the right number of first responders arrive faster. Answer the questions as best you can. If you don't know the answer to a question or don't know your exact location, that's okay, the 9-1-1 Emergency Dispatcher will help you.
9-1-1 Emergency Dispatchers are trained professionals and know what questions to ask and when to ask them to get the help to you as quickly as possible.
About Red Deer's 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Centre:
The Red Deer 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Centre provides 9-1-1 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, Mountainview, Stettler, Kneehill, Starland, Newell, M.D. 34, M.D. of Acadia, Special Areas 2, 3 & 4, the City of Airdrie, and the City of Leduc.