Stay on the Line
It is of utmost importance that when making a 9-1-1 call that
you stay on the line with the operator as long as it is safe to do so or
until instructed to hang up. This can assist the call taker in
determining the exact location of the emergency and the nature of the
emergency. The operator will ask various questions to aid the responding
agencies prior to their arrival. Do your best to give accurate
9-1-1 is for Emergencies
While 9-1-1 may be a convenient way to contact your local
communications center, it is important to remember that this number is
for emergencies only. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself if you
need the help of the police, the fire department or an ambulance. If
you, as the caller, think it is an emergency, please never hesitate to
use 9-1-1. If a person uses 9-1-1 to harass operators or "prank" call
the 9-1-1 center, they can be charged criminally under Iowa Code. If
there is a non-emergency situation that needs to be reported, please use
the administrative line shown above.
What if I accidentally call 9-1-1
Occasionally a person accidentally dials 9-1-1 or gets
misrouted to the 9-1-1 numbers. If this happens, we ask that you only
stay on the line and explain the mistake to the operator. This assists
us so that we do not have to make a call back to your number or send an
officer to your location to determine that everything is okay. Parents
with younger children need to stress the importance of only dialing
9-1-1 for emergencies. We often get children calling and hanging up.
When we call back, the parents are usually a bit surprised and sometimes
even angry. When this happens, it is always a good idea to go over with
your child when and when not to use 9-1-1.
Does 9-1-1 work on my Cell Phone?
The easy answer is yes, it does. However, we do not have the
capability as of yet to get your exact location. This makes it
especially important to stay on the line with the call taker and relay
your location. The State of Iowa and most of the counties within the
state are currently implementing a system where your location can be
determined. It is best to err on the side of caution and assume that the
operator needs your location. So make every effort to know where you are
if calling 9-1-1 from a cellular telephone.