An emergency is when immediate police, fire department, or medical
assistance is necessary to protect life or property.
If an emergency situation arises — a crime, a fire, a serious
injury or illness — ask yourself whether police, fire department, or
medical assistance is needed right now to protect life or property.
if YES, then immediately call 9-1-1 and advise the dispatcher what
has happened or is happening.
Call 9-1-1 whenever you believe there is an emergency. If you are
not sure it's a real emergency, call 9-1-1 and the dispatcher will
make the final determination.
When the Communications Center receives several 9-1-1 calls at the
same time, these multiple 9-1-1 calls are handled on a priority
basis. The most serious emergency will be handled first.
No money is needed to call 9-1-1 from a payphone. If there is an
emergency, you can just pick up a payphone, wait for a dial tone,
and call 9-1-1 without depositing a coin.
Critical Information the Dispatcher Needs to Know
the emergency? What's wrong? What type of crime is in progress?
Where is the emergency? Give the address, include building number,
apartment number or nearest cross street. The name of the building
or color of house is also helpful.
Who needs help? Names/ages and any descriptive information are
helpful. (Example: color of clothing, height/weight, hair/eye color)
Weapons? Did you see any weapons involved? What type?
Remain calm and give direct answer to the questions asked. Speak
slowly and clearly. You will be asked several questions so the
dispatcher can send the right type of help. All questions are
9-1-1 Do's and Don'ts
Some calls are not appropriate for 9-1-1. These calls tie up
emergency lines that are used to answer real emergency calls.
Call 9-1-1 to report a fire, an accident, serious medical
problems, or when life or property is endangered
Stay as calm as possible
Speak loud and clear, but do not scream
Let the dispatcher control the conversation
Do not call 9-1-1 and ask for the
Flint non-emergency number. The non-emergency number is
call 9-1-1 and ask for telephone numbers.
During a storm do not call 9-1-1 to report the power is out at
your home, unless it is an emergency. Call your local
Do not call 9-1-1 for non-emergency transportation
Do not call 9-1-1 to speak with a detective regarding an ongoing
Do not call 9-1-1 for information on court dates or times, bail
amounts, whether or not someone is in custody or hours of
Do not call 9-1-1 just to see if it works