Fire! A car crash and people are hurt! Someone is breaking into my house!
What to do? Call 9-1-1, of course – and call right away. But sometimes we are not sure what to do – should I call for emergency help?
The general rule: dial 9-1-1 any time there is a threat to life or property. A 9-1-1 operator can even tell you whether your problem needs an emergency response, so when in doubt, call…but it helps to know when to call.
When to call 9-1-1
An emergency is any situation that requires immediate help from the police, fire department or ambulance, such as:
- A fire
- A crime in progress
- A car crash, especially if someone is injured
- A medical emergency, especially one that requires immediate medical attention
If you are not sure whether the situation is a true emergency, officials recommend calling 9-1-1 and letting the call-taker determine whether you need emergency help.