How to Use 9-1-1

9-1-1:  Know When to Call for Help

What is 9-1-1
The 9-1-1 Emergency System makes an important difference in Quincy and Adams County everyday.  It is your first source of help in times of crisis and it can mean the difference between life and death.

When to Use 9-1-1
If an emergency situation arises - a crime, a fire, a serious injury or illness - immediately dial 9-1-1 and advise the 9-1-1 operator what has happened or is happening.  No money is needed for calling 9-1-1 from a pay phone.  If there is an emergency, you can just pick up a pay phone, wait for a dial tone, and dial 9-1-1 without depositing a coin.

When Calling 9-1-1
- Stay calm.  Give your name, location, telephone number, and nature of the emergency.
- Listen carefully to the 9-1-1 operator.
- Answer the 9-1-1 operator’s questions as accurately as possible.  Speak  clearly and slowly.
- Do exactly as the 9-1-1 operator tells you during the course of the call.
Never hang up on the 9-1-1 operator until your are told to do so.

Know Your Location
Of all the information you first give 9-1-1, the location of the emergency is by far the most important. This is especially crucial in Quincy and Adams County because we do not have an Enhanced 9-1-1 system that automatically provides the location of the caller.  Understand that if you cannot give adequate location of where the emergency is occurring, 9-1-1 may not be able to send the emergency services and help that is needed.  Giving the location of the emergency is critical because if you are cut-off during the call the 9-1-1 operator will at least know the location of the emergency if nothing else.  If you have recently been assigned a new address it is critical that you know this address when communicating with the 9-1-1 operator.

Non-Emergencies
Do not dial 9-1-1 for non-emergency situations.  For non-emergency situations in the City of Quincy or Adams County, such as noisy neighbors, loud parties, stolen hubcaps, lost pets, dogs barking, etc. dial 222-9360.  Never tell a 9-1-1 operator that a situation is more serious than it really is.  It is against the law to intentionally and knowingly give false information to emergency services.  Abuse of 9-1-1 may delay someone else’s access to emergency assistance.

Teaching Children About 9-1-1
Teach your children how and when to dial 9-1-1.  Always tell them to dial 9-1-1 but never refer to this emergency number as “nine-eleven.”  There is no such number as eleven on the telephone and a child may easily become confused in the process of dialing.  Teach your children to trust the 9-1-1 Operator, explain to them that 9-1-1 is their friend and source of help to them during an emergency.  Teach your children their home address and telephone number.
Carefully explain to your children that 9-1-1 is for an emergency likely to occur at your home or location.  Explain what things to lookout for.  Also, explain that 9-1-1 is not a toy or game and should never be played with or called unless it is actually needed.  Possibly use the classic “Crying Wolf” story and relate it to the use of 9-1-1.  At the same time you must avoid discouraging a child from using 9-1-1; encourage them to use 9-1-1 whenever they are in doubt.