911 FAQ

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What Happens When I Call 911?

A trained emergency Telecommunicator will answer your call and request information about your emergency. Based on the nature of the emergency, the Telecommunicator will immediately summons police, fire or emergency medical response. When you call 9-1-1 tell the Telecommunicator the following information:

  • Your exact location, or as much information about your location as possible.
  • The nature of the emergency, (someone has a gun, my house is on fire, my neighbor has collapsed etc.)
  • How many people are injured, if any.
  • Any body trapped in the vehicles, house, etc.
  • Names and descriptions of the people involved in the emergency.
  • Any conditions which could make the situation unsafe for the responding personnel or bystanders, (weapons, gas leaks, disabled vehicles, animals, etc.)
  • Condition of the patient, (gender, age, consciousness, breathing, etc.)
  • Your cell phone number and location, if calling from a cell phone.
  • If a traffic accident, any hazardous conditions (hazardous placards on vehicles).

Stay on the line until the Telecommunicator hangs up. You may be able to provide the Telecommunicator with additional information as emergency personnel respond, or the Telecommunicator may be able to provide you with emergency assistance and instructions.

Do Not Call 911

  • To ask a question about city issues of activities, for these call the Albany Police Desk at 431-2100
  • To request directory assistance: For this service call 4-1-1.
  • To report problems with the pay phone you are using. For these call 6-1-1.
  • For non-emergency information during disasters or emergencies, tune to your local TV or Radio stations.
  • For non-emergency police calls, Call 431-2132.
  • To report Child Abuse Calls, Call Family Protection 431-2123.
  • To report general animal control problems in the city: Call 431-2132.
  • To report general animal control problems in the county: Call 431-2132.
  • To discuss legal problems, legal issues or questions on laws, Call the Dougherty County Sheriff Department at 431-2166 or contact your Attorney.
  • To arrange for ambulance transportation to medical appointments: Call your health services provider.
  • To report broken street lights, broken water mains, hydrants or other utility problems, Call Water Gas and Light (WGL) at 883-8330, and listen for the prompts to direct you to the proper department.
  • To report Public Works problems in the City Call 883-6950.

Calling 9-1-1 as a prank ties up emergency dispatchers, who could be handling actual emergencies.

Calling 9-1-1 for non-emergencies, could cost a life. In addition, state law prohibits knowingly calling 9-1-1 to provide false information about a person being in danger, wanted, to falsely request the police, fire, ems assistance, or to annoy or harass dispatchers.

Calling 9-1-1 for these purposes constitutes a class I misdemeanor, which is punishable by, up to one year in jail and up to $2500 in fines.

How Are Calls to 911 Prioritized?

As soon as your calls are received the Telecommunicator will announce, Albany 9-1-1 Police, Fire or Ambulance. They will verify the information that is displayed on their enhanced 9-1-1 screen, as to your name, address and phone number. They will then ask what is your emergency, and where you want the emergency units sent to. As soon as your call is received and information is verified, it is sent to the appropriate agency for dispatching. All calls must be prioritized to insure safety of citizens and responding personnel. Calls that have occurred earlier in the day, or not of an emergency nature, may be held so that more urgent calls may be dispatched first. Some situation are more urgent than others. Most often these calls are those that are in progress, such as breaking and entering in progress, assaults and suicide attempts. All calls involving weapons are considered URGENT calls and are dispatched immediately. weapons can consist of objects such as guns, knives, baseball bats, broom handles bottles, and razors. All weapons pose a threat to citizens as well as the responding personnel. It is very important to tell the Telecommunicator if a weapon is or was involved in the emergency.

Can I Dial the Operator in an Emergency?

Prior to 9-1-1, many emergency calls were handled by telephone company operators. With the advent of 9-1-1 system, emergency calls should not be placed by calling -0- for the operator. Although the operator can in most cases transfer the call to 9-1-1, he or she may not be familiar with your jurisdiction, and your call may be significantly delayed

Are Calls to 9-1-1 Recorded?

All calls to the 9-1-1 center are recorded on tape for a set period of time, In the event they are needed in a later investigation and in order to insure that highest level of professional service to our citizens. These tapes are never released to the media or to the public without a court order. In addition, callers to 9-1-1 may choose to remain anonymous by not giving their names or identifying information. If this information is not relevant to the emergency. If you wish to remain anonymous, tell the Telecommunicator so.

Teaching Children About 9-1-1

What Should I Teach My Children About 9-1-1?

Many hang-up 9-1-1 calls are made by children playing on the phone. Each time this happens, a 9-1-1 Telecommunicator must immediately call the home back to determine, whether or not there is an emergency. If there is no answer on the call-back, police units are immediately dispatched, on an emergency priority response. If there is an answer on call-back, the Telecommunicator will attempt to speak to an adult to insure that all is well. We ask adults not to punish children who call 9-1-1 and hang up, but rather explain to them that 9-1-1 should only be used in an emergency. If children are punished for accidentally calling 9-1-1, it may scare them from ever using if in the future, whether they have a legitimate emergency or not.

Ideas to Help in the Home

  • Keep your phone at an easy to reach level, like on a coffee table.
  • A cordless phone offers mobility in the home.
  • Write your address in large print on or near your phone
  • Make sure your address is on your mailbox and on the front of your house.
  • Do not program 9-1-1 into speed dial. It could inadvertently be dialed.

9-1-1 is the telephone number to use in an emergency situation. It serves as your communication link to Police, Fire and EMS!

There is only one telephone number to remember in an emergency, so you won't have to look up the number for Police, Fire or EMS.

9-1-1 eliminates the need to determine which emergency agency to call.

Thanks to enhanced 9-1-1 (E9-1-1) technology, which displays your calling location, you don't have to be able to speak in order for the dispatcher to know your address, but it is important that this information be verified.

All emergency agencies have integrated TDD/TYY terminals. TDD/TYY is a Telecommunication Device for the Deaf used to communicate with hearing impaired callers.

All types of telephones, regardless of their style or age will make a call to 911. Pay Telephones can be used to dial 9-1-1 at no charge.

TDD/TYY (Telecommunication Device for the Deaf/Teletypewriter)

What Is and Is Not an Emergency