Monday, October 4, 2010

Calling 911

Calling 911 is very stressful and it's easy to
 feel overwhelmed.
911 call-takers are trained to guide callers through the experience, but knowing what to expect can help make the 911 call
 go smoothly and get emergency help where and when it's needed.

If you live in Wilkes Barre you MUST call 911 in order to
get a Police Officer to respond.

Many people are apprehensive to call because they don’t feel their call is an emergency.. so they don’t call.  If you see something that looks suspicious CALL.

Try to stay calm- Many times while you are talking your call is already being dispatched.

Know the location of the emergency and the number you are calling from.
This may be asked and answered a couple of times but don't get frustrated. Even though many 911 centers have enhanced capabilities -- meaning they are able to see your location on the computer screen -- they are still required to confirm the information. If for some reason you are disconnected, at least emergency crews will know where to go and how to call you back.

Give a good description.

It's important to try and build up a complete picture of a person from head to toe. Write down the details. Try to look at their shoes. Many times criminals will quickly change their clothes/ take shirts and hats off or on but rarely do they change their shoes.  

If a vehicle is involved, write down the registration number, color, make and model. Observe if it was damaged or rusty. Did it have any writing on it? Which way did it leave the area?
Also remember to keep a record of the time and date of your observations. These details can be very useful when giving a statement to Police and can help piece together the chain of events.

Any Cell Phone Will Do- Active or Not
Wireless carriers are required to complete 911 calls, even when the phone is not activated. Any phone that turns on and can receive a signal is capable of making a 911 call.  The problem is: if the phone you're using isn't activated, there isn't a phone number assigned to it. That means if you're disconnected from the dispatch center, you must call 911 back. They will not have a way to call you.

Anonymous calls
The simple truth is that Police do not take Anonymous calls as seriously as they do when you give your name.  Because they might need more information from you or need you to ID someone. Or it just may be a prank call.
I know it can be scary so that is why the Wilkes- Barre Crime Watch offers their members PIN numbers.  You just use your number when you call and they know who you are.


  1. This information has been very helpful! I didn't realize that while we are talking to 911 dispatchers our call can be going out for a response. I didn't know that our cell phones didn't need to be activiated for a 911 call. Excellent Information! Thanks Charlotte!

  2. Much of the information that the Wilkes-Barre Crime Watch gives out, is available to all members. A "PIN" number for members lets the 9-1-1
    people know that the call is genuine, and not a prank. Crime Watch members are instructed as to what to say, when to say it. and how to say it.
    Become a member of your Crime Watch. Do your part in our fight to reclaim our city.