Public Education

When to call 9-1-1

In an emergency, call 911 immediately from any wired or wireless phone.  An emergency is any situation that requires immediate assistance from the police, fire department, or ambulance/ems service.  Examples include:
  • A fire
  • A crime, especially if in progress
  • A vehicle accident, especially if someone is injured
  • A medical emergency, such as someone who is unconscious, gasping for air or not breathing, experiencing allergic reaction, having chest pain, having uncontrollable bleeding, or any other symptoms that require immediate medical attention

    When you call 911, be prepared to answer the call-taker's questions, which may include:

    • Location of the emergency (street address)
    • Phone number you are calling from
    • The nature of the emergency (fire, fight, accident)
    • Details about the emergency, such as physical description of the person(s) involved in the event, description of the fire that may be burning, or  description of injuries or symptoms of the person experiencing the medical emergency.

REMEMBER, the call-taker's questions are important to get the right kind of help to you quickly.

What to expect when you call our center

When calling 9-1-1, our telecommunicators want to get the first responders you need to you as quickly as we can.  In order to do this, we need to ask very specific questions and need YOUR help to speed this process.


9-1-1 What's the address of the emergency?

In What City? / What City is that in? (Appropriate)

Is that a House or Apartment? (Appropriate)

Repeat the complete address to be sure we have it correct

What's the phone number your calling from?

Okay, tell me exactly what happened?


These questions are vital in getting the correct help to the right location. We may ask that you repeat some of the information for us to verify and make sure we have it correct. The information is not always displayed on our phones. Always remember that as soon as we have this information verified we can get help started. Any of our questions do not delay response to your emergency.


  1. Where (exact location):
    • help is needed
    • the incident occurred
  2. Call back telephone number
  3. Exact problem (tell us what happened)
  4. Who:
    • needs help
    • is calling (address & phone number)
    • is involved (how many people & description)
  5. When:
    • did the incident occur
  6. Weapons:
    • any weapons involved
    • who is armed
    • what type of weapons
  7. Alcohol
    • anyone intoxicated
    • anyone under the influence of illegal substances
Additional information as each call type mandates.
Listen to the dispatcher and he/she will ask questions to get you the necessary help to you.




  1. Where (exact location where help is needed)
  2. Call back telephone number
  3. Name of Caller
  4. Exact problem (what type of call is it)
    • Rescue
    • Fire (house, brush, woods, trash, vehicle, etc.)
    • Service
    • Trees and/or power lines down
    • Box alarm
    • Is there any threat of personal injury
    • If injury, what type of injury
    • Any hazardous circumstances
    • Any unusual circumstances present
Any additional information as each call type mandates. Fire departments are members of the 'first responder' system. That means that they will respond to your medical emergency if they are close to your location than EMS.  While waiting for EMS to arrive, they can help you and stabilize the situation.


  1. Exact location where help is needed
  2. Call back telephone number
  3. Exact problem (what happened)
  4. How many people are hurt/sick
  5. Age of the patient
  6. Is the patient conscious
  7. Is the patient breathing
  8. Is the patient male or female
Depending on the 'Chief Complaint' (exact problem), additional information will be asked; ranging from one (1) to ten (10) questions.

SECC Public Education Team

SECC has created a combined team of dispatchers and supervisors approximately two years ago with the purpose of meeting the public, provide educational material on the use of 911, and most of all to gain a presence with the citizens of Scott County. 

Our team gives presentations at senior residential facilities, churches, schools, community events, and presentations combined with tours right here in our center as well. 

If you would like to have SECC speak at your establishment or arrange for a tour,  please call us at 563-484-3000 or 563-484-3036.  This service is free of charge.