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What is a 9-1-1 Emergency?

A 9-1-1 emergency is any event that requires an immediate response by police, fire or emergency medical services.

Why was 9-1-1 developed?

The 9-1-1 concept was developed as the fastest, easiest way to communicate with local police, fire and medical services during an emergency. You do this by waiting for dial tone on your telephone, cellular telephone or public telephone, then dialing 9-1-1.

Types of 9-1-1 Systems

The first 9-1-1 systems were called Basic 9-1-1 systems. All 9-1-1 calls were directed to one Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) per telephone office. 9-1-1 dispatchers only received the caller's telephone and had to ask the caller for name, address and county location.
       Advances in computer systems and telephone company technology combined to create ENHANCED 9-1-1 systems. Today, 86 of 88 Ohio counties have Enhanced 9-1-1 systems on line. Enhanced systems allow 9-1-1 calls to be routed to the proper Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) within each county. Also, each 9-1-1 call displays the caller’s telephone number, name, and address, as well as the correct police, fire, and emergency medical response agency for each citizen within the county. In March of 2011, Erie County also completed the installation of Phase II Wireless 9-1-1, which will help locate where cellular 9-1-1 callers are calling from utilizing a mapping system.

What happens when you dial 9-1-1

  1. First you dial 9-1-1 for emergency help.
  2. The 9-1-1 call is routed to a 9-1-1 selective router.
  3. The 9-1-1 call is then routed from the selective router to the proper Public Safety Answering Point in Erie County.
  4. The 9-1-1 dispatcher then determines the type of incident and the proper responding agencies needed. Then the dispatcher will conference on the call all other emergency agencies needed to report to the scene.
  5. The proper emergency agencies are sent to the scene.

DOs and DON’Ts for 9-1-1

DO: If you are calling 9-1-1 and you are not at the location where the emergency is, please advise the dispatcher of the correct location and type of emergency. If you fail to advise the dispatcher of the proper location, valuable time may be lost trying to find the correct location, and seconds save lives.

DON’T: If you dial 9-1-1 in error, DON’T hang up the telephone. Stay on the line and explain to the dispatcher you dialed incorrectly, then you can hang up. If you hang up you will be called back by the dispatcher or an officer will be sent to your residence for verification of emergency needs.
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