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Calling 9-1-1

Dial 9-1-​​​1 in an emergency situation when you need immediate help from police, fire or paramedics. ​

​​Please use 9-1-1 responsibly

​​9-1-1 is the designated number to request emergency services and should only be used for immediate threats to people or property. 9-1-1 call takers and dispatchers are highly trained public safety professionals that will get you the right help, when and where you need it. Don't call 9-1-1 to ask for non-emergency phone numbers.

Emergency situations include:

  • Immediate threats to people or property: see fire or smoke; gunshots/stabbings; car accidents with injuries; medical emergencies such as chest pain or difficulty breathing, symptoms of stroke or heart attack
  • Crimes that are in progress such as assault, impaired driving, break and enters with suspects on scene, robbery, suspicious activity

If you accidentally call 9-1-1, do not hang up. Stay on the line and let the call taker know it was an accident. If you hang up, valuable time and resources could be used to call you back and confirm there is no emergency. 

Prank 9-1-1 calls are a criminal offence and takes up valuable time from being able to help someone with a real emergency.

What happens whe​​​n you call 9-1-1

A call taker asks “do you need police, fire or ambulance?" and may confirm the municipality you are calling from. You will then be transferred to the agency you requested as soon as possible which can happen in a matter of seconds. Be prepared to answer several questions so the right help can be dispatched.

  • Always know your location
  • Download the What3Words app if you're going hiking, boating or adventuring in unfamiliar areas
  • Don't pre-program 9-1-1
  • If you call 9-1-1 by accident, stay on the line so you don't tie up resources unnecessarily
  • Please understand the questioning process does NOT delay getting help to you
  • Listen carefully to any instructions being provided to you
  • Stay calm, speak clearly and don't hang up until asked to do so

Teach children how to use 9-1-1

Teaching children how and when to use 9-1-1 properly is important but remind them it is not a toy. Keep household cordless phones fully charged and in the same place within the house. Keep address information near the phone and show your children where it is. Never give a child an old cell phone to use as a toy as de-commissioned phones can still dial 9-1-1.

Reporting non-emergencies

You can report non-emergency incidents through non-emergency phone numbers and other City services. Don't call 9-1-1 to ask for non-emergency phone numbers as it ties up valuable resources. Non-emergency phone numbers and examples of reasons to call include:

  • Barrie Fire & Emergency Service at 705-728-3199
    • Burning/bonfire complaints
    • Fire code violations
    • ​Minor fuel spills
    • Requesting information or inspections
    • Loss of power (contact your local power utility company)
  • Barrie Police Service at 705-725-7025 or Online Reporting
    • Crimes that are not in-progress and/or suspects are no longer on scene
    • Lost property
    • Theft of gas
    • General noise complaint (barking, construction, amplified sound etc.)
  • Enforcement Services at 705-739-4241 or
    • Fireworks being set off nearby
    • Animal issues
    • Smoking violations
    • Stationary noise complaint (air conditioners, pool pumps etc.)
  • Service Barrie at 705-726-4242 or Online Services / Online Reporting
    • Reporting graffiti
    • Reporting a pothole
    • Parking tickets
  • Ontario Community and Social Services at 211 or
    • Crisis lines & services
    • Addiction counselling & treatment
    • Support groups

Frequently Asked Questions
What happens if I call 9-1-1 and don't know my location? Answer

9-1-1 call takers are highly trained in asking numerous location finding questions along with data that is transmitted from cellular devices. Call takers also have several resources including various mapping tools, internet searching.​

How can I get help if I don't speak English?Answer

9-1-1 call takers have access to language interpreting services for over 200 languages on both 9-1-1 and non-emergency phone lines.

I have a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone, can I still call 9-1-1?​​


VoIP 9-1-1 calls do not go directly to 9-1-1 centres and do not provide location information. These calls will initially​ go to a third-party call centre to confirm your location and an operator will re-direct your call to the most appropriate 9-1-1 centre. It is very important that you keep your location updated with your VoIP service provider as the operator may end up using the last registered address if you are unable to speak during a 9-1-1 call.​​

My power is out, will my phone still work?

​​​​During a power outage, phones that require an electrical outlet will not work; simple phones and cell phone will work.

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