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In Case of Emergency — Call 9-1-1

Posted at 11:45 a.m.

Sooner or later it will probably happen to you. An emergency strikes and you need an ambulance, fire equipment or police — now.

Don’t waste precious seconds trying to call your local fire or police station. Just dial 9-1-1, by voice or TTY (or text 9-1-1). The 9-1-1 dispatchers have the training to gather the proper information and dispatch all necessary resources for the situation. And although you may be tempted to call friends and family, if you are experiencing an emergency, it’s important to call 9-1-1 first.

This is an especially timely reminder since today is the 50th anniversary of the first 9-1-1 call in the United States. On Feb. 16, 1968, Alabama State Senator Rankin Fite completed the first 9-1-1 call in Haleyville, Ala.

In Fairfax County, 9-1-1 was adopted in 1981. And in 2005, the Department of Public Safety Communications (DPSC) was established after previously being a component of the Fairfax County Police Department.

DPSC, also known as the county’s 9-1-1 Center, is a nationally recognized public safety communications center, the largest in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of the 10 largest in the United States.

DPSC receives approximately 1 million calls per year requesting public safety service and dispatches units of the Fairfax County Police Department, Fire and Rescue Department and Sheriff’s Office. In addition to Fairfax County, DPSC is the designated 9-1-1 public safety answering point for the towns of Herndon and Vienna and the City of Fairfax located in the county.

Fairfax County 9-1-1 is an accredited 9-1-1 center for emergency medical dispatch with the Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services. The county’s 9-1-1 Center also is a National Center for Missing and Exploited Children 9-1-1 Call Center Partner.

The county’s 9-1-1 Center and its employees — the First of the First Responders.

text to 9-1-1

It’s National Public Safety Telecommunicator’s Week

Posted at 11:50 a.m.

National Public Safety Telecommunicator’s Week, created in 1981, is celebrated every year during the second full week of April. This year it’s April 9-15.

In this video, Bill Kang, director of the county’s Department of Public Safety Communications — the 9-1-1 Center — explains what this week is about and what telecommunicators at the 9-1-1 Center do.

The Fairfax County 9-1-1 Center is holding several events this week, including the 12th annual DPSC Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, April 11, at 6:30 p.m. at the McConnell Public Safety and Transportation Operations Center (MPSTOC), 4890 Alliance Drive, Fairfax.

Years of service awards and staff promotions will be presented, along with other honors such as the Excellence in Call Taking award, Rookie of the Year award, Meritorious Action, Fairfax County 9-1-1Director’s Commendations and more.

Hopefully you’ll never need to call or text 9-1-1, but if you should, they are there to assist you 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Public Safety Agencies Say Thanks to Our 9-1-1 Center Staff

Posted at 1:30 p.m.

Today starts National Public Safety Telecommunicator’s Week (April 9-15) across the country.

Public safety personnel from our Police Department, Sheriff’s Office and Fire and Rescue Department take a moment to say thanks to the staff of the county’s 9-1-1 Center — Fairfax County’s public safety telecommunicators — the first of the first responders who are always there, always ready, 24/7, 365 days a year.

The Department of Public Safety Communications (DPSC) — Fairfax County 9-1-1 Center — is a nationally recognized public safety communications center, the largest in the commonwealth of Virginia and one of the 10 largest in the United States.

They receive approximately 1 million calls requesting public safety service per year and dispatch units of the Fairfax County Police Department, Fire and Rescue Department and Sheriff’s Office. In addition to Fairfax County, DPSC is the designated 9-1-1 public safety answering point (PSAP) for the towns of Herndon and Vienna and the City of Fairfax located within the county.

In addition to calling 9-1-1 in times of emergency, you can also text to 9-1-1 should calling be dangerous or unavailable.

Text to 9-1-1 Issue Resolved

Posted at 8:30 a.m.

The Department of Public Safety Communications — the county’s 9-1-1 Center — reports that the text to 9-1-1 issue has been resolved and Fairfax County’s text to 9-1-1 is fully functioning.

text to 9-1-1

Text to 9-1-1 Experiencing Intermittent Problems

UPDATED April 5, 2017; 9:05 a.m.

The ability to text to 9-1-1 continues to experience intermittent problems.  The county’s Department of Public Safety Communications (9-1-1 Center) reports that the service provider is working to resolve the issue.

Voice calls to 9-1-1 are not impacted by the issue.


Posted at 8:55 p.m.

Fairfax County’s Department of Public Safety Communications — the 9-1-1 Center — reports that the ability to text to 9-1-1 is experiencing intermittent problems.  The service provider is working to resolve the issue.

Voice calls to 9-1-1 are not impacted by the issue.