9-1-1 How does it work?
What is 9-1-1?
9-1-1 is the number most people in the U.S. and some in international countries call to get help in a police, fire or medical emergency. A 9-1-1 call goes over dedicated networks to the appropriate 9-1-1 answering point (PSAP) for the caller's location, and trained personnel then send the emergency help needed.
LVMPD Police Dispatch is the PSAP that takes most of the 9-1-1 calls for Las Vegas and Clark County. Medical and fire calls are transferred to the LV City Fire Department Dispatch center and Metro Dispatch handles police events within the LVMPD jurisdiction.
Henderson, North Las Vegas, Mesquite, and Boulder City all have their own police departments. If you call 9-1-1 from a phone located in one of these cities, your call normally will be routed to the respective department's dispatch center.
What is Enhanced 9-1-1?
Enhanced 9-1-1, or E9-1-1, is a system which routes an emergency call to the appropriate 9-1-1 answering point (PSAP) for the caller's location, AND automatically displays the caller's phone number and address. The 9-1-1 call taker will typically ask the caller to verify the information, which appears on his or her computer screen. In most areas, phone number and location information is available for 9-1-1 calls made from a cellular/wireless phone.
When should you use 9-1-1?
9-1-1 is only to be used in emergency situations. An emergency is any situation that requires immediate assistance from the police, the fire department or an ambulance. If you are ever in doubt of whether a situation is an emergency you should call 9-1-1. It's better to be safe and let the 9-1-1 call taker determine if you need emergency assistance.
Do not call 9-1-1:
- for information
- for directory assistance
- for paying traffic tickets
- for your pet
- as a prank
If you call 9-1-1 by mistake, do not hang up. Tell the call taker what happened so they know there really isn't an emergency.
What about 9-1-1 prank calls?
It's a prank call when someone calls 9-1-1 for a joke, or calls 9-1-1 and hangs up. Prank calls not only waste time and money, but can also be dangerous. If 9-1-1 lines or call takers are busy with prank calls, someone with a real emergency may not be able to get the help they need.
How do I make a 9-1-1 call?
- In an emergency, dial 9-1-1 on your phone. It's a free call. You can use any kind of phone: push button, rotary, cellular/wireless, cordless, or pay phone. (With some pay phones, you may need coins to get a dial tone)
- Stay calm and state your emergency.
- Speak loudly and clearly. Give the 9-1-1 call taker your name, phone number and the address where help is needed.
- Answer the call taker's questions. Stay on the telephone if it's safe to do so, and don't hang up until the call taker tell you to.
What if a 9-1-1 caller doesn't speak English?
When necessary, a 9-1-1 call taker can add an interpreter from an outside service to the line. A non-English speaking caller may hear a short conversation in English and some clicking sounds as the interpreter is added to the line.
What if a 9-1-1 caller is Deaf, or hearing/speech impaired?
Communication centers that answer 9-1-1 calls have special text telephones for responding to 9-1-1 calls from Deaf or hearing/speech impaired callers.
If a caller uses a TTY/TDD, the caller should:
- Stay calm, place the phone receiver in the TTY, dial 9-1-1.
- After the call is answered, press the TTY keys several times. This may help shorten the time necessary to respond to the call.
- Give the call taker time to respond. If necessary, press the TTY keys again.
- Tell what is needed-police, fire department, or ambulance. Give your name, phone number and the address where help is needed.
- Stay on the telephone if it is safe. Answer the call taker's questions.
If a Deaf or hearing/speech impaired caller doesn't have a TTY/TDD, the caller should call 9-1-1 and don't hang up. Not hanging up leave the line open. With most 9-1-1 calls, the caller's address is displayed on the call taker's screen and help will be sent.
3-1-1, How does it work?
Call 3-1-1 for POLICE NON EMERGENCY RESPONSE, such as disturbance calls involving loud parties, loud music complaints, minor disturbances, a break-in or vandalism that occurred "sometime prior" or discovered upon returning home, and the suspects have left the scene. Call 3-1-1 to report any type of crime where there is no immediate threat to life or property.
What will I be asked when calling to report a disturbance or a crime in progress?
- Location (Exact address or cross streets)
This is probably the most important information you can provide, so try to be aware of your surroundings. Make a real effort to be as detailed as possible. If you are outside and don't know the street address, take a look around and try to find landmarks or cross streets. If you are inside a large building or one with multiple levels, you can help emergency services, by letting them know which floor you are on, which apartment you are in, etc.
- Time lapse?
- What does the suspect look like? Sex, race, height and weight, facial hair, hat/cap, shirt/jacket, pants/shorts, shoes, glasses, unusual characteristics-scars, tattoos, etc.
- Were there any weapons? If so, what type, color and size.
- Was there a vehicle involved? If so, vehicle description and a license plate if available.
- Is anyone injured?