Calling 9-1-1: Fairfax Prepares Day 21

day 21 iconIt may seem obvious – call 9-1-1 for an emergency.

But in a high-stress situation, do you know what information is needed? Is your home clearly marked. Do you know the public safety non-emergency phone number?

Here are a few tips to consider when calling 9-1-1:

  1. Use 9-1-1 for emergencies only.
  2. Stay calm and help the call taker help you.
  3. Determine the location of the emergency, if possible, before you call.
  4. Texting 9-1-1 is NOT an option; you must dial 9-1-1 and speak with a call taker.
  5. Teach your children how to call 9-1-1.
  6. Do not give old phones to children as toys. A wireless phone with no active service can still dial 9-1-1.
  7. If you accidentally call 9-1-1, stay on the line and tell the call taker that you do not have an emergency.
  8. Post your home address clearly and prominently so first responders can find you.
  9. Pull over when driving, if possible. This reduces the chance of a dropped call.
  10. Tips for non-English callers and hearing or speech-impaired callers.

9-1-1 dispatchersWe receive more than 1 million 9-1-1 calls a year. Hopefully you don’t have to call, but if you do, make sure it’s an emergency. If you’re not sure, call 9-1-1, but if it’s clearly a non-emergency, then call the non-emergency number.

Exclamation point iconTHE ASK: 9-1-1 is an easy to remember phone number, but you can help reduce unnecessary calls if your situation is not an emergency. Add a new contact to your phones for the public safety non-emergency number at 703-691-2131, TTY 711, and know when to call it.


View full list of 30 ways to prepare