*** If you are in need of immediate emergency assistance, please go to your telephone and dial 9-1-1, this page is for informational purposes only ***
The Massachusetts 9-1-1 system is considered one of the best in the country. However, it is crucial that the public have a greater understanding of it's abilities and purpose for it to work effectively.
9-1-1 is for emergencies only. A good way to remember is you should call to:
To Save A Life: when immediate ambulance assistance is needed for medical attention.
Stop A Crime: when reporting a crime in progress or a violent/dangerous situation requires immediate police response.
Report A Fire: reporting any fire, large or small, since all fires are potentially life-threatening.
Emergency situations are very stressful. Try to remember that when you call 9-1-1, the first things we need to know are the "who, what, where's".
Who is calling, or who needs help: Please be specific, and tell us the names of the individuals involved. Reporting that your "father needs help" is not sufficient. "My father, John Jones" is much more helpful.
What happened to make you call: Please be very direct. What is the exact, and bottom-line reason you called. Reporting a long story explaining the history of a particular relationship is not needed at this time. What specifically happened, right at that moment, to make you call. Officers will respond, at which time all the background information can be reported.
Where exactly are you: Please give us an exact location of the incident. Please realize that reporting "my father needs help in the back yard" is not helpful. Who is your father, at what address is your back yard?"
Straight to the point: "This is John Jones at 123 Main St. Walpole, my father Joe, may be having a heart attack, he's in the back yard". This is a very good start.
Due to the inherent mobility of cellular telephones, ALL 9-1-1 calls from cell phones are handled by the State Police Operations Center.
Why is this important? Simple, if you are calling from your cell phone, your call is answered by the State Police. This means that reporting "I need help at the Coffee Shop on Main St" is not helpful. The State Police must know what town you are calling from, and an exact location would be preferable. "I need help at the Coffee Shop at 123 Main St, Walpole". It's a good rule of thumb to remember no matter where you are calling from, always give a full address, including the town or city your are in.
We get these all day long. People dial 9-1-1 instead of 4-1-1. A baby plays with the phone and hits 9-1-1. There are so many reasons this happens that I can't list them all.
What Is The Most Important Thing To Remember?
Do Not Hang Up.
People get nervous when they realize they just called 9-1-1, and they hang up. Understandable, but it just makes the situation worse. We only want to make sure you are safe, and we will not stop until we are sure of that. If this means we have to call you back, we will. If this means we have to send a police officer to your house, we will. If you simply stay on the line, you can explain your mistake, and that will be it.