When should I call 911?

911 Information


When To Call 911911
A Call To 911 Should Always Be A Call For Emergency Help

When should I call 911?

Life and death emergencies and in-progress crimes against property which include, but are not limited to:
  • Life threatening situations
  • Fires
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Injuries requiring medical attention
  • Hazardous chemical spills
  • Smoke detector, carbon monoxide alarm or other alarms sounding
  • Smoke in a building
  • If you see someone hurting someone else
  • To get help for someone who is hurt
  • If you see someone taking something that belongs to someone else or breaking into a home or business

When not to call 911:

Calling 911 as a joke or knowing that an emergency situation does not exist is a crime and subject to prosecution. If you call 911 to see if it is working, stay on the line and advise the operator you are just testing.

Non-emergency situations, including:
  • For information
  • For directory assistance
  • For your injured or lost pet
  • Abandoned vehicles
  • Asking for directions
  • Parking complaints
  • Questions about tickets, warrants, court dates, etc.

What if I need police or fire assistance, but it’s not an emergency?
The non-emergency number for the Fort Stockton Police Department is (432) 336-4600

What if I call 911 in error?

Stay on the line and advise the dispatcher that you dialed in error. If you hang up, the following will happen:

  • A call back to the phone is initiated by the dispatcher to determine if there is an emergency.
  • If the dispatcher is unable to contact the caller to verify that there is no emergency, a law enforcement emergency response unit is dispatched to the residence to determine if an emergency situation exists, since the 9-1-1 call shows the address and phone number of the person calling. The operator would prefer to talk to an adult in these instances.
  • If the dispatcher makes contact and still feels there may be a problem the officer will continue to the location to verify there is no problem.

How do I make a 911 call?
In an emergency, dial 911 on your phone. It’s a free call. You can use any kind of phone: push button, rotary, cellular/wireless, cordless, or pay phone. Per federal law, you must be able to dial 911 from any pay phone without depositing money and from any cell phone even if the service has been cancelled. Stay calm and state your emergency.

Speak loudly and clearly. Give the 911 call taker your name, phone number and the address where help is needed. Answer the call taker’s questions while help is on the way. Stay on the telephone if it’s safe to do so, and hang up only when the call taker tells you to.

What information does the dispatcher need to send help?
The following is the minimum information needed for a response:

  • Location of your emergency (exact address, intersection, or landmark)
  • Type of emergency
  • Your name and callback phone number in case we need further information

Why does the operator need me to stay on the line after I have called for help?

  • To ensure your safety and those involved
  • In case a medical condition changes for the better or worse, so as to provide immediate assistance with instructions to help until medical crews arrive
  • Also to provide current and accurate information to the responding units whether medical or law enforcement

Why do you ask so many questions?
Operators follow a specific line of questioning to assist with rapid identification of the situation and collection of facts. Operators do not ask these questions because they are nosy. Their primary concern is to obtain as much information as is possible to expedite the emergency response by the public safety agency and for the safety of the public and police or fire responders.

If you can't decide if your call is an emergency, consider it to be an emergency and dial 911.

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