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Tips on Dialing 9-1-1

9-1-1 is the Emergency Telephone System in Somerset County that operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Somerset County has a fully enhanced 911 system which means the operator can see both the telephone number and address of where the call is originating. However, the dispatcher will still verify your phone number and the address where the incident is occurring. Enhanced 911 provides a faster response to those individuals who unable to communicate verbally with the dispatcher. For example, if you are home alone and suddenly become very ill, you call 911 and say, "send me an ambulance" and then pass out, we will be able to dispatch help immediately thanks to Enhanced 911. E911 is also equipped with a special indicator which alerts the operator of an incoming call from a TDD (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf). Below is a guide for calling for emergency help. If you have any additional questions, please contact us by email or phone, 410-651-2633.

Guide to Emergency Help

Dial 911 only in an emergency. If it is not an emergency, dial the appropriate agency directly.

How to make an emergency call

  1. Stay calm. Don't get excited, take a deep breath.
  2. Don't wait, dial right away.
  3. Tell the operator that answer the phone exactly what is wrong.
  4. Give the exact location where the emergency is. Be sure to give your full address (including an apartment number if you live in an apartment).
  5. Give them the phone number you are calling from.
  6. Give your name.
  7. DO NOT HANG UP--until the operator on the telephone tells you to. The operator may need to ask you more questions to help the fire department, EMS personnel or police find you. The operator will also tell you what to do until help arrives.
  8. If you are calling for an ambulance, we utilize the Medical Priority Emergency Medical Dispatch System. This system allows the 911 dispatcher to instruct the caller in pre-arrival medical care for the patient. The dispatcher may ask you specific questions regarding the medical problem the patient is having. This information is then relayed to the ambulance personnel so they will have a clear concise picture as to what is occurring on the scene. We alert the ambulance while you are on the phone with us.
  9. If you accidentally dial 9-1-1, please stay on the line and let the dispatcher know that it was accidental. We are required to follow up on all 911 calls and verify the existence of an emergency. If we are unable to communicate with someone at the residence, we will dispatch a police officer to investigate.
  10. If you are calling 911 via cellular phone, please be prepared to give us your cell phone number and your exact location. At this time Somerset County does not have Enhanced Wireless 911 capabilities. If you are not familiar with the area, look for distinguished landmarks, businesses, mile markers, etc. Be able to identify your direction of travel. Know the name of the last town or city that you may have passed through.
  11. TDD callers, whenever and wherever you call 9-1-1 for help, these are the most important things to do:
    1. Press the TDD space bar 5 times when 911 answers.
    2. Give the address where you need help.

Prepare for Emergencies

Please make sure your house number is displayed so that emergency responders can find your home quickly. If displaying your number on the house it should be visible at least 50 ft from the road and the view of the number should not be blocked by trees or shrubs. If displaying your number on the mailbox, place the number on both sides of the mailbox unless it is in a cluster of mailboxes. If displaying your number on a private sign or post at the entrance to a lane, the sign should be at least 3' to 4' in height. Numbers should be at least 3 inches high. Numbers should be plain block numerals, not script or written numbers. Numbers should be set on a background of contrasting color, dark on light or light on dark works well.

If you have a phone with a speed dialer, please program 911 on one of the buttons. This is extremely beneficial for elderly.

If your fire district has provided you with an emergency strobe light, please turn it on during an emergency. If you are interested in obtaining a strobe light, contact your local fire department or Crime Solvers.

Remember, in an emergency every second counts!

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Last updated: 14 November 2014