When should I call 9-1-1?
You should call 9-1-1 when:
- You are a witness or victim of a crime in progress or one that has just occurred.
If you witness or are involved in an injury auto accident.
- If you experience or see someone having a medical emergency.
- If you see fire or smoke.
- Whenever you witness or are involved in a potentially dangerous situation.
If you're ever in doubt that something happening is an actual emergency and you're not sure if you should call 9-1-1, don't hesitate to call 9-1-1. We can help you determine if a response is needed.
When should I call the non-emergency number?
Do not call 9-1-1 if a person or property is not in immediate danger. You may call the non-emergency number if you need to report something that occurred earlier that day, days before, or even weeks before. You can also call the non-emergency number if you need a report for insurance purposes. The Ingham County 9-1-1 non-emergency phone number is 517-272-6026.
What is "enhanced" or E911?
Enhanced or E911 means that our Center has a link to the phone company that provides both the address and the phone number for the calling party, if you are calling from a landline phone.
If you have my address and phone number why do you ask me for it?
Technology is wonderful, but it is not infallible. It can make mistakes, so we ask questions to make sure we have the correct address information. Also, sometimes people call for help from a neighbor's house and we do not want to send help to the wrong address.
Why do you ask so many questions when I call 9-1-1?
It may seem like we are wasting time, but we follow a proven set of important questions designed to provide emergency responders with the information they need to prepare to respond to your call. The more information we have the more quickly and efficiently we can help you. In an emergency we will start emergency responders on their way while we continue asking you questions.
Why do I have to stay on the phone?
We keep you on the phone so you can assist us by telling us what is happening or if there has been a change in the situation or the location of the incident. Sometimes we keep you on the phone so that we can give you instructions on how to help the victim until help arrives. Staying on the phone with us does not delay the response of police, fire, or EMS units.
What happens when I call 9-1-1 from my cell phone?
If you dial 9-1-1 from your cell phone in Ingham County your call should ring in to our Center. If you are in any other county, it will go to the closest 9-1-1 Center based on the receiving cell phone tower location. Cell phones do not provide the same type of information to the dispatchers that landline phones do. Depending on the technology used by your cell provider and the age of your phone we may have an approximate location for you based on the latitude and longitude provided by the phone, but we may only have the address of the cell tower that received your call. This is why you must stay on the line and be prepared to give the dispatcher your location. If you call from the edges of Ingham County and are connected with one of our neighboring Centers, they will transfer you to the correct jurisdiction.
Should I program 9-1-1 into my phone's speed dial?
No. Putting 9-1-1 in your speed dial can result in needless accidental calls to 9-1-1.