What is 9-1-1?
Nine-one-one (9-1-1) is the number most people in the United States and some other countries call to get help in a police, fire or medical emergency. A 9-1-1 call goes over dedicated phone lines to the 9-1-1 call center closest to the caller, and trained personnel then send the emergency help needed.
During an emergency call, is help on the way, even if I am still on the phone with the dispatcher?
Yes! Dispatchers at the NTECC are trained to ask questions to determine how a call may be best handled. When a call is received, initial questions are asked and the call is input into a Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system. This call is then available to other Dispatchers in the room who are responsible for assigning the call to police officers, fire responders and/or emergency medical personnel or both. The Dispatcher speaking on the phone will continue to gather information and update the CAD so that additional information can be relayed to the responders as they drive to the location.
What can I do in a medical emergency until the ambulance arrives?
Dispatchers are certified as Emergency Medical Dispatchers (EMD). They will ask specific questions, based on the International Academy of Emergency Dispatch (IAED) protocols, to determine the status of the patient. They will then provide basic pre-arrival instructions, again based on the IAED protocols. Using these protocols, Dispatchers are able to assist callers with anything from a minor medical emergency to talking a caller through instructions for CPR or delivering a baby.
How long will it take for an officer to show up at my house when I call?
The NTECC goal is to get help started as quickly as possible based on available resources. Utilizing answers provided to the questions asked by the Dispatcher, calls are prioritized. For example, a fight in progress or a motor vehicle accident with injuries would be assigned a higher priority than a report of loud music or a report of a theft which occurred the day before. Calls are then assigned to available resources in order of priority. Due to the nature of emergencies, we can never anticipate what type of incidents may be occurring at the time of your call; however, help will be dispatch as soon as possible.
Who should I contact for information on a ticket or warrant?
Dispatchers cannot disclose specific ticket or warrant information. Please contact the Municipal Court for the city in which the ticket or warrant was issued for further information. This includes tickets issued by the Police Department, Environmental Services, Animal Services or any other city department.
– Addison Municipal Court: 972-450-7111
– Carrollton Municipal Court: 972-466-3348
– Coppell Municipal Court: 972-304-3650
– Farmers Branch Municipal Court: 972-484-4112
Who pays for 9-1-1?
A small monthly fee for 9-1-1 service is charged for each telephone line that appears on a phone bill. There is no per-call charge for calling 9-1-1. However, EMS/ambulances dispatched through 9-1-1 may charge for taking someone to the hospital; this is a separate ambulance charge, not a 9-1-1 charge.
When should you use 9-1-1?
Use 9-1-1 only in emergency situations: when you need immediate assistance from the local police department, fire department or emergency medical services. When in doubt, 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.
How do 9-1-1 dispatchers communicate with non-English speaking callers?
When a non-English speaking caller uses 9-1-1, the ECS has the ability to add on an interpreter service, which offers translations in more than 140 languages. In these instances, the caller may hear a short conversation in English and some clicking sounds as an interpreter is added to the 9-1-1 call.
Are the hearing-impaired callers able to dial 9-1-1?
Hearing impaired callers have equal access to 9-1-1 services via a teletypewriter (TTY) or telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD). In an emergency, hearing-impaired callers should dial 9-1-1 and connect to TTY, then tap a few TTY keys. Although this is not required, this activates the ECS’ TTY immediately. Once the ECS answers, state what kind of help is needed, respond to all questions, and stay at your TTY if safe until the call is completed.
Hearing impaired callers may also use their mobile phone device to communicate via text to 9-1-1.
Can I text 9-1-1?
NTECC does have the ability to receive text messages to 9-1-1; however, callers are encouraged to still call 9-1-1 whenever possible. When you send a text to 9-1-1, location information is not provided as it is with a voice call. Additionally, communicating verbally takes less time than typing messages back and forth.
Not all 9-1-1 centers across the country have the ability to receive text messages. If you attempt to send a text to 9-1-1 where the service is not yet available, FCC rules require all wireless carriers and other text messaging providers to send an automatic “bounce-back” message that will advise you to contact emergency services by another means, such as making a voice call or using telecommunications relay service (for persons who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability). Bounce-back messages are intended to minimize your risk of mistakenly believing that a text to 9-1-1 has been transmitted to an emergency call center.
Does the NTECC ever close?
The North Texas Emergency Communications Center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days per year. We do not close. For our center, we have a 99.995 uptime. This means we have less than 26 minutes per year that we were not able to answer a call due to factors outside of our control. Any calls not answered by the NTECC were automatically forwarded to a neighboring 9-1-1 call center or to our backup site.
Can 9-1-1 call me back?
In most cases, 9-1-1 will receive your phone number and is able to call you back. The only exception is if you call on an inactive cell phone (or a phone that isn’t connected to a call plan). Though you will be able to reach 9-1-1, they will not receive location information or a call back number. You should also still confirm your phone number with the 9-1-1 call taker to make sure they have the right information.
Does 9-1-1 know my exact location when I call on a cell phone?
9-1-1 does not always get your exact location when you call on a call phone. They may receive your approximate location, which is accurate within about 300 meters (or 3 football fields). That’s why it is always important to immediately tell the 9-1-1 call taker where you are and never assume they can track you.