Ray Maycumber, Coordinator
The Enhanced 911 System began operating in Washington State in September, 1985, when King County first offered this service. By December 31, 1998, all 39 counties in Washington offer Enhanced 911 services. All local telephones, even coin operated phones, located in enhanced counties are part of the 911 system. Every year millions of calls for help are routed through 911. The system provides benefits to citizens who need assistance of police, fire or medical personnel.
What Does Enhanced 911 do for Me?
You only have to remember one number in an emergency...911:
Before 911, callers had to know which police, fire and ambulance districts they were in and the correct seven digit number to call for assistance.
Routes calls to the correct party for response:
The system routes your call to the appropriate communication's center; and determines which police, fire and ambulance departments respond to your location; so this saves the call-taker time in dispatching your call to the proper responder.
Automatically identifies the phone number and location you are calling from:
When you call 911, the phone number and location you are calling from automatically displays on a screen at the communication's center. If you cannot give your location, the call-taker will know where you are and can send help.
When Should I Call 911?
Whenever you need help from police, fire or emergency medical personnel. Do not try to determine if you have an emergency.
Call 911 anytime you need a response:
Let the communication's center decide what action to take. You do not receive all of the benefits of 911 if you don't use it.
DO NOT CALL 911 when you just need information:
How Do I Call 911?
From a home phone or a simple business phone:
Just dial 9-1-1. If you are calling from an apartment complex served by a private telephone system, the location information of your individual unit may not display at the 911 Communication's Center.
From a Centrex or PBX Business phone extension:
You still need to get an outside line (usually by dialing '9') then dial 9-1-1. Your location information may not accurately display from these phones.
From a cellular Phone:
Dial 9-1-1, then press 'send'. Your location information will not display at the 911 Communication's Center.
From a TDD/TTY (Telecommunication Device for the Deaf):
Dial 9-1-1. After your call is answered, pressing a TTY key several times may help shorten the time necessary to respond to your call. It may take the call-taker a few moments to access their TTY before they can communicate with you. Please do not hang up if you do not get an immediate response.
What Happens to my Call?
The system will route your call to the appropriate 911 Communication's Center. The call-taker will ask why you are calling. If necessary, your call may be transferred to another communications center. You will be asked for your name, telephone number and address to verify that the data on the screen is correct. You will be asked to describe the nature of the emergency or situation. You may be transferred to another line if the situation is not an emergency. Stay calm and answer the call-taker's questions and the call-taker will assess the situation. The communication's center will then determine an appropriate response.
What can I do for 911?
Keep the telephone company advised of any changes in your name or address so they can keep the database current. Post a road name sign if you live on a private road, and post your house number where it can be easily seen by responding emergency personnel so they can find you faster. Do Not use any telephone for the first few hours after a disaster situation, unless it is a life-threatening emergency. This will help to keep lines clear for emergency communications.
Support E-911 tax issues that are presented to the voters:
Currently the taxpayers of Washington State are paying only $8.40 a year per telephone number to cover the expenses of Enhanced 911 services. Ferry County is dependent on assistance from the State to continue to provide service to its residents. Without maintenance of this minimal tax, the State cannot assist Ferry County with operations.