Facts You Should Know about 911
911 IS TO BE USED FOR EMERGENCIES
Calls to 911 should be made for but not limited to: Crimes in progress; suspicious activity or behavior; Fires; Traffic accidents; Medical emergencies.
911 should NOT be used for: Checking time and temperature; Directory Assistance; Loss of electricity/cable/water.
KNOW YOUR CELLULAR PHONE
You should not drive while talking on a cellular phone, this increases the chance to either be in or cause an accident. When you carry your cellular phone, check for a “key lock” feature. When phones are carried in a pocket or in a purse, pressing any key for a period of time will send a call to 911. When you use the key lock (sometimes called a key guard) feature, this will not happen.
WHEN YOU CALL 911 YOU WILL BE ASKED:
Your name; Your location (street address); The phone number you are calling from and the nature of the problem.
For landline users who question why you are being asked this information thinking that it should be on a screen in front of the dispatcher, it is to verify that the information is correct. There are times when the calling party has just moved and the information has not yet been received, therefore the database has not been updated. For cellular users, this information is not yet available and therefore has to be verified.
Emergency 911 Questions
Q1. What is enhanced 911?
Answer: Enhanced 911 identifies the telephone number and address of a person placing the emergency call from a landline.
Q2. How does enhanced 911 work?
Answer: Telephone exchanges have the capability to identify the phone number from which the call is made. A computer database is developed which associates an address with the phone number. When a 911 call is made, the caller’s phone number is relayed to the computer which then displays the phone number and address on a video screen for the telecommunicator. Along with this information is what agency should respond (police, fire, ambulances)
Grundy County dispatches sheriff, Grundy Center Police, the appropriate areas hospital Ambulances, 8 fire departments (Beaman, Conrad, Dike, Grundy Center, Holland, Reinbeck, Stout, Wellsburg)-along with notifying surrounding counties to dispatch fire departments that have jurisdiction in our county.
Q3. Will the computer database be confidential?
Answer: State law restricts the information to E911 emergency use only. Anyone releasing this information will be subject to legal penalties.
Q4. How is enhanced 911 service paid for?
Answer: Each landline has a $1.00 surcharge on their phone bill.
Q5. What can the money raised by the surcharge be spent for?
Answer: Under the state law, the funds received from the surcharge collections can only be spent on updates and equipment used within the PSAP(public safety answering point). No more than 25% of the annual budget can be carried over at the end of the fiscal year. If the year-end carry over is more than 25%, the state can require reduction of the surcharge.
Q6. How will farm locations be identified?
Answer: Each farm or rural residence will have a street address, similar to houses in town. Each address outside city limits in the county will have a blue sign placed near the entrance to the drive.
Q7. Where do I get a blue rural 911 address sign?
Answer: For a new or replacement for a damaged or destroyed blue 911 sign, contact Grundy County Sheriff’s Office.
Q8. How will this help emergency responders?
Answer: The most important part is that the telecommunicator will have the address information from the computer database and can relay exact address information to the emergency unit(s) responding.
Q9. Are rural address maps available to everyone?
Answer: Plat books which contain rural addresses may be purchased through the Grundy County Treasurers office. Road (911) Maps may be purchased at the Sheriff’s Office.
Q10. Is there enhanced 911 for cellular phones?
Answer: At the present time the information received by the telecommunicator shows the tower location and location of the caller. If you use your cellular phone and place an emergency 911 call, you will also be asked your location and your name and address.
Q11. Who answers your cellular phone call?
Answer: Depending on your calling location, you call could be routed to one of many PSAP’s (public safety answering points). You may be in one county placing the call and your phone “hits” a tower in another county, your call could go there. Again, this is why you should know your location when placing a call.