9-1-1 is your first source of help in times of crisis and it can mean the difference between life and death. When used properly, 9-1-1 saves seconds and those seconds can save lives.
When calling 9-1-1:
Stay calm. Give your name, location and nature of the emergency.
Listen carefully to the 9-1-1 dispatcher and do not hang up the phone until the 9-1-1 dispatcher tells you to do so. In some cases, the dispatcher will keep you on the phone until emergency crews arrive in case additional questions are asked of responding units.
Answer the 9-1-1 dispatcher’s questions as accurately as possible. Speak as clearly and slowly.
Do not hang up the telephone, if 9-1-1 is dialed in error. Stay on the phone and explain to the 9-1-1 dispatcher that you dialed the number by mistake.
Do not dial 9-1-1 to test your phone. This ties up a 9-1-1 line, unnecessarily, that could be needed for actual life threatening emergencies.
Do not program 9-1-1 into your telephone speed dial. Doing this may cause accidental dialing and in the case of an emergency, you won’t forget the number.
An emergency is considered:
Any serious medical problem (chest pain, bleeding, seizures)
Any type of fire (business, residence, vehicle)
Any life threatening situation (fights, suicide threats, persons with weapons)
Any crimes in progress
Do not dial 9-1-1 for non-emergency situations. For non-emergency Police situations such as thefts that are not in progress, traffic complaints, etc., please call (614) 882-7444. For non-emergency Fire situations, please call (614) 882-2213. Never tell a 9-1-1 dispatcher that a situation is more serious than it really is. Abuse of 9-1-1 may delay someone else’s access to emergency assistance.
What number do I call when it is not an emergency?
For Police or Fire related issues you should call the Communcations Center at 614-882-7444 or 614-882-2213 to report any suspicious activities, crimes not in progress, or accidents of a non-emergency nature, to name a few.
For the Records Division of the Police Department, please call 614-901-6450. For general inquiries concerning the Fire Department, please call 614-901-6600.
If my cell phone has been disconnected, am I still able to call 9-1-1?
Yes. Even if your cell phone has been disconnected, you are still able to use 9-1-1. You need to make sure the call taker has your name, address, and all other pertinent information.
9-1-1 calls can also be made from any pay phone without inserting any change.
What is VoIP?
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a technology that allows you to make telephone calls using a broadband Internet connection instead of a regular (or analog) phone line. Some services using VoIP may only allow you to call other people using the same service, but others may allow you to call anyone who has a telephone number including local, long distance, mobile, and international numbers. Also, while some services only work over your computer or a special VoIP phone, other services allow you to use a traditional phone through an adaptor.
Time Warner, SBC (AT&T), Wide Open West and Vonage are just a few of the providers in the Westerville area.
It is important to know when setting up service with one of these providers to ensure they are set up to process 9-1-1 calls to the Westerville Communications Center to show your Name, Address and Phone number. Also, since most internet phones work off a cable modem, if your power goes out you will lose phone service unless you have a battery backup.
Two websites that offer more consumer information and answers to frequently asked questions in reference to 9-1-1 are: