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You should call 911 only for an emergency. An emergency is any situation that requires immediate assistance from the police, fire department or ambulance. Examples include:
Important: If you’re not sure whether the situation is a true emergency, we recommend calling 911 and letting the call-taker determine whether you need emergency help.
If you dial 911 by mistake, or if a child in your home dials 911 when no emergency exists, do not hang up—that could make the dispatcher think that an emergency exists, and possibly send responders to your location. Instead, stay on the line and simply explain to the call-taker what happened.
If you are reporting a medical emergency, the dispatcher will ask you questions regarding the injured or sick person.
If a crime is involved, and you saw or can see a suspect, be prepared to give a description:
If a vehicle is involved, you will be asked to describe it: