9-1-1 For Kids

In an emergency, the best thing to do is to tell someone you trust right away.  This might be your parents, a teacher of another adult. If there is no one around to help you, you can call 9-1-1 for help. 

  • What is 9-1-1?
    9-1-1 is the telephone number you can call from any phone when you need help or you see someone else who needs help right away.
  • When should you call 9-1-1?
    You should only call 9-1-1 when a person is hurt or property is in danger and you need emergency help from the police department, fire department or an ambulance.
  • What happens when you call 9-1-1?
    After you dial 9-1-1 the person who answers the call will be at a 9-1-1 center. This person has special training to make sure you get the help you need.  They will ask you questions or tell you to do things that will help you and the emergency police officers, firefighters or EMTs who are coming to the emergency. 
  • When should you hang up?
    If you call 9-1-1 by accident, or if you think the emergency has gone away, you should still stay on the phone and explain what happened to the 9-1-1 operator.  The 9-1-1 operator may ask you questions to make sure everything is really OK and that there is no need to send any more help.  If something happens where you can't talk or you have to leave the telephone, don't hang up.  Keep the phone off the hook so the 9-1-1 operator can hear what is happening. When you call 9-1-1 from a regular phone the address of the phone will show up on the 9-1-1 operator's computer and help to find you. 
  • What should you tell the 9-1-1 Operator?
    The most important information the 9-1-1 operator needs is where the emergency is.  If you don't know the address you should look around for a street sign or a store with a name on it so the 9-1-1 operator can help the police, fire or ambulance find you.   Memorize important things about your home like your complete address, if you live in an apartment, know your building number, floor and apartment number.  It is also helpful if you know your telephone number and your parent's names. 
  • What else can you do to help the 9-1-1 Operator?
    Try to stay calm, answer the questions as well as you can and follow the directions that the 9-1-1 operator gives you.  You will get help much faster if you can tell the 9-1-1 operator everything that is happening and answer the questions so the right kind of help can be sent.

    You can send a text  message to 9-1-1. 9-1-1 can receive calls from telephones, cell phones or special telephones called TTYs used by people who have trouble hearing or speaking.