About 911

If you do not know your 911 address, please call us at (304) 586-5370 Opt 1

Teach Children to Use 911

  • Teach children their address and phone number.
  • Teach your children not to play with the telephone. Dialing 911 when there is no emergency may take an emergency telecommunicator away from a real emergency.
  • Don’t refer to 911 as 9-11 (nine-eleven) as it may confuse children.
  • Write your address on a small piece of paper and place it near your phone. This will make it easier to give or verify your address if you or your child become too nervous or frightened to remember it.

911 & Autodial

Don’t program 911 into your telephone. The number is easy to remember. By programming the number, you have more of a chance of accidentally dialing 911.

911 Availability

  • 911 is a free call from any location, including payphones.
  • You may still dial 911 if your phone line has been cut off. However, we are not able to transfer calls from 911 to other numbers.
  • Do not use 911 because you have no phone service or money for a payphone.
  • To test your phone to see if 911 works, call our office first at (304) 586-0246. If we are not busy with an emergency, we would be happy to verify your address and let you dial 911.
  • If you reside or work at a location that requires a number to be dialed to access outside lines, remember to dial the access number to access 911.

When to Use 911

Dial 911 only for emergencies. Emergencies might include, but are not limited to:

  • Serious medical problems such as chest pains
  • Severe bleeding
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Any kind of fire whether it is a home, vacant building, business, or vehicle.
  • Any emergency where life, body, or personal property is in immediate danger.

If you are not sure whether something is an emergency, dial 911 to report the incident.

When Not to Use 911

Do not call 911 for non-emergencies. The Putnam County 911 Center dispatches for all law enforcement within the county. The number to report non-emergency calls is (304) 586-0246.

Do not dial 911 in the event of a power outage in your area. Call your utility company to report the outage. Utility company numbers are available in your phone directory. If you or someone in your home relies on the power to run some sort of life-sustaining equipment, then dial 911 for medical assistance.

If You Call 911 by Mistake

Do not hang up.

Stay on the line and let us know it was an accidental dial. If we are unable to make contact with someone at the number the 911 call was placed from then law enforcement will be dispatched to your location to investigate. This takes away the officer’s ability to respond to a real emergency.

What to Expect During a 911 Call

  • When you dial 911 with an emergency remain calm, be patient, and speak clearly.
  • Sometimes it is important to take a deep breath to regain composure.
  • Know the address of the emergency and directions to the emergency.
  • Understand that no matter how many times emergency personnel have been to your residence or how well-known you are in the community, the responding personnel may not know you or your residence.
  • Let the emergency telecommunicator ask you the questions. Each telecommunicator is specially trained and each question has a reason for being asked. Some questions may be asked more than once to clarify or verify information. No one is deliberately stalling or delaying response to the emergency.
  • As soon as the emergency telecommunicator gets enough information, the call is sent for dispatch.
    • While this is occurring, the emergency telecommunicator will be asking additional questions or giving you instructions that will help in that particular emergency.
    • Rest assured that even though the emergency telecommunicator is still asking you questions, your call has already been dispatched to emergency personnel.
    • Instructing the telecommunicator to “hurry up” or “get them here now” does nothing to make units arrive any faster.
  • Do not hang up the phone until you are instructed to do so by the emergency telecommunicator.

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