When calling 9-1-1, the operator will need to know:

  • Your name, phone number and address
  • What happened
  • Where it happened and if the incident happened at a different location than where you are calling from
  • Is anyone injured

Stay on the line (if it is safe to do so) while the call-taker notifies the emergency service.

How the 911 system works

The first step in the 911 system is activation. The activation takes place when 911 is dialed by the individual in need of assistance.

When activated, the call for help is routed to the Primary CERB (Central Emergency Reporting Bureau), for that geographical area. The call-taker answers a call and determines if someone needs police, fire or ambulance, and they contact the appropriate agency. This is referred to as the Secondary CERB.

With the enhanced 9-1-1 system used in Lanark County, the moment the 9-1-1 line is answered, the address, phone number, and the name of the residence is displayed. This will only apply when the call is from a land line. After connection is made to the caller, the call-taker gets the information needed to dispatch the appropriate agencies.

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Hanging up

Unfortunately, a large amount of 9-1-1 calls taken are hang-ups where the call is ended by the caller before the call-taker answers the phone. Although the caller hangs up, the information is still displayed. The problem with hanging up is the call-taker has no idea what is going on. The situation may not be life threatening but there is a chance it could be an emergency.

When a hang-up is received it is up to the call-taker to re-establish contact with the caller if possible. The call-taker may be able to re-contact the caller directly. If contact is not made and the dispatcher cannot verify that an emergency situation exists, the police, and other emergency services, will be dispatched to that address.

Prank calls

9-1-1 is for emergencies, to report crimes being committed or to help people in distress. Fines may be levied and criminal charges may be laid if someone prank calls 9-1-1.

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