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911 Tips & FAQs

Prepare yourself, in the event of an emergency, with the following tips:

  • Teach children when and how to use 9-1-1
  • During a power outage phones that require an electrical outlet will not work; simple phones do

Civic Address

  • Know your civic address; it may differ from your mailing address
  • Your civic address is the street name and number that are assigned to your residence for 9-1-1 emergency purposes
  • Write your address and phone number in large print on, or near your telephone
  • Make sure the street address numbers on your residence are clearly visible
  • When away from home, always know your location

Cellular Phones

  • If you call 9-1-1 from your cellular phone, you MUST know your location
  • If your location is unknown, be prepared to describe it with cross streets
  • Emergency responders in Ontario CAN’T currently track the location of your cell phone using embedded GPS technology

Internet Phone Service

  • Subscribers of Voice over Internet protocol (VoIP or broadband) telephone services may not have access to the 9-1-1 service
  • Taking your VoIP phone with you to another location may compromise your 9-1-1 service
  • It is the subscriber’s responsibility to confirm 9-1-1 service details with their VoIP provider
  • Know your location if you call 9-1-1 using a VoIP phone

Prank 9-1-1 Calls

  • Prank 9-1-1 calls are a criminal offence
  • If dispatchers are busy with prank or non-emergency calls someone with a real emergency may not get the help they need
Frequently Asked Questions
What Happens When I Call 9-1-1? Answer
  • When you call 9-1-1, your call will be answered by a trained operator at a central emergency call centre
  • The operator will ask you if you require police, fire or ambulance and then connect you with the emergency service you require
  • When you are connected to the emergency service that you requested, you will be asked about the nature of the emergency
  • ALWAYS KNOW YOUR LOCATION
  • Stay on the line and DO NOT HANG UP unless your safety is at risk or you are instructed to by the operator
When Should I Dial 9-1-1? Answer
Only Call 9-1-1 In An Emergency
What Shouldn't I Call 9-1-1 For? Answer
  • General inquiries and non-emergency situations
  • Directory assistance
  • Information about road conditions, school closings or to get directions
  • Fallen power lines (call your local electricity provider instead)

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