What Happens When I Call 9-1-1?

Watch the Public Safety Communications 9-1-1 Public Education Video

The Prince George’s County Public Safety Communications 9-1-1 center processed more than 1.3 million calls in the last year.  Approximately 4,500 calls into the 9-1-1 center are 911 Call Takersprocessed per day by highly trained professional 9-1-1 call takers and dispatchers.  

The 9-1-1 call takers and dispatchers are not police officers, firefighters, medics, or Sheriff’s deputies, but they work closely with these first responders to make sure you get the help you need quickly. 

The same staff members answering  9-1-1 calls also answer calls to the non-emergency dispatch number as well as calls reporting burglar, fire, medical and carbon monoxide alarm activations. 

When a 9-1-1 call is received at Public Safety Communications, the   9-1-1 call taker will begin the conversation by asking for the address of the emergency. Address information is required to ensure help is sent as quickly as possible should the call become disconnected or the caller is unable to continue speaking. 

The caller will be asked to confirm that the address is in Prince George’s County to verify the accuracy of the information provided through the automatic location information technology transmitted by the telephone service provider.

Callers are asked for the phone number they are calling from and the nature of and details of the emergency situation.  As soon as the 9-1-1 call taker has determined the location and type of emergency, the initial information is entered into the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system.  This information is transmitted to the dispatcher’s computer workstation, so the dispatcher can send help.

911 Call TakerThe 9-1-1 call taker will keep asking questions to gather information about the situation and will pass the information along to the dispatcher via the CAD computer.  While the caller is talking to the 9-1-1 call taker and answering questions, the dispatcher will review the new information and update the emergency personnel on the way to the scene.  

The 9-1-1 call taker asks questions that are designed to produce a safe, appropriate public safety response in the least amount of time as possible. At no time do these questions cause a delay in the response nor does it cause a delay in obtaining critical life and death information.

Remember, the call-taker’s questions are important to get the right kind of help to you quickly. Do not hang up until the call-taker instructs you to.