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9-1-1 - Your Link to Police, Fire, and EMS

What to provide in a 9-1-1 call

  • The location of the Emergency
  • The phone number that you are calling from
  • Your name

Important: Stay calm. Speak clearly. Stay on the phone until you are instructed to hang up by the 9-1-1 dispatcher.

Do not call 9-1-1 for:

  • Road/Travel Information
  • Household/Auto Repairs
  • Non Emergency Calls
  • 4-1-1 Information
  • Operator Assistance (Dial 0)

Facts about 9-1-1

The St. Mary’s County Department of Emergency Services operates an “Enhanced 9-1-1 System” with TDD capabilities, which provides instant information containing the location of the caller, who the phone is listed to and the telephone number.

When an Emergency Communications Dispatcher receives a "9-1-1" call and no one is on the phone (meaning the line is open or the caller has hung up), the Emergency Communications Dispatcher will call the telephone number back to determine if the caller is using a TDD and to investigate if there is a true emergency. If no one answers the phone, the nearest available law enforcement officer will be dispatched to that location to investigate the nature of the call.

If your 9-1-1 call is for a medical emergency, you may be asked to perform life saving first aid or CPR while help is responding to your emergency. The State of MD and the National Academy of Emergency Medical Dispatch certify the Emergency Communications Dispatchers who answer the calls for help. This requires Emergency Communications Dispatchers to be certified in CPR and requires a 40-hour training course in Emergency Medical Dispatch. All of the questions that are being asked are important and determine the type of assistance that will need to be dispatched.

While the Emergency Communications Dispatchers are questioning and providing you with instructions, such as CPR or emergency first aid, another Emergency Communications Dispatchers has received the dispatch information and is dispatching Fire, EMS or Law Enforcement to your location.

There are no “dumb” or “unnecessary” questions! Remember to stay calm, and answer the questions asked of you by the Emergency Communications Specialists. Remember, it could save a life... Maybe even your own! Do not hang up the phone until you have been instructed to do so by the emergency communications dispatcher!

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