9-1-1 Tips for Callers

When You Have an Emergency:

  • Go somewhere safe if you can! (for example: in a fire, evacuate before calling)
  • Dial 9-1-1
  • When the operator answers
    • Remain calm; speak slowly and clearly
    • Give the exact location where help is needed
    • Describe the emergency
    • Answer all questions asked by the operator
  • Do not hang up until instructed to do so.

When to Use 9-1-1

9-1-1 should be called when an ambulance or fire unit is needed, or for a police emergency. A police emergency is defined as any situation involving an imminent threat to life or property and/or a crime in progress.

How 9-1-1 Works

Landline Phones

 When you dial 9-1-1 from a landline phone (one that plugs into the wall) and within the borders of Highland Park, the call is directed to our agency because your phone company established the routing of the call to our call center.

Cellular Calls

 Cellular calls differ from landline calls in that address location information is often not available. Therefore it is extremely important for you to stay on the line and give the exact location of the emergency to the 9-1-1 operator.

Cell towers work quickly with each other to route the call to the appropriate responding agency, but there are times when your call may be directed to an adjacent jurisdiction simply because of your physical proximity to a neighboring city.

A cell phone will call 9-1-1 even without current service. As long as the phone is within range of a cell tower and has battery power, your call will make its way to a 9-1-1 Communications Center the moment you press “send”. Even if you disconnect or press “end”, the call will still be delivered.

Text to 9-1-1

Text-to-911 is only currently available in certain locations - in 2018, The Town of Highland Park launched Text-to-911 for our area. 

Text-to-911 is the ability to send a text message to reach 911 emergency call takers from your mobile phone or device. However, because voice calls to 911 provide more information to 911 call centers, you should always make a voice call to 911 during an emergency whenever possible. 

VoIP Calls

 Not all VoIP (Voice over Internet protocol) phones deliver 9-1-1 calls in the traditional manner. When purchasing one of these services, make sure your provider allows the line to deliver a 9-1-1 call via the designated trunks established for 9-1-1 use.

VoIP phone data (subscriber information such as name and address) is normally entered by the resident. It is imperative the address used matches the existing address structure of the Town of Highland Park. You may contact the Communications Manager at 214-559-9396 for assistance with this.

How to Report a Non-Emergency

Non-emergency calls placed to 9-1-1 can slow emergency response to true emergencies. Please call 214-521-5000 to report non-emergency situations.