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Frequently Asked Questions

When should I call 911?

You should call 911 any time there is a true emergency. This could be a medical emergency, fire, motor vehicle accident, violent crime, or any other event that is immediately threatening life and/or property.

When should I NOT call 911?

You should not call 911 for non-emergency situations. We have provided some specific examples farther down the page, however generally you should not call 911 unless there is an immediate threat to life, safety or property.

What will I be asked when I call 911?

When you call 911, our dispatchers will ask you a series of questions to determine the correct response to your emergency. Please cooperate with the dispatcher, and answer their questions to the best of your ability. Doing so will enable the dispatcher to more quickly and effectively relay information to responders. The type of questions you will be asked are listed below:

  • The location of the emergency, including the street address, and room/apartment number, if you’re in a large building

  • The phone number you are calling from

  • The nature of the emergency

  • Details about the emergency, such as a physical description of a person who may have committed a crime, a description of any fire that may be burning, or a description of injuries or symptoms being experienced by a person having a medical emergency

What happens if I accidentally dial 911?

If you dial 911 by mistake, or if a child in your home dials 911 when no emergency exists, do not hang up – that could make 911 officials think that an emergency exists, and possibly send responders to your location. Instead, simply explain to the dispatcher what happened.

How can I prevent my child from accidentally dialing 911?

Teaching children when to call 911 is just as important as teaching them how to place a 911 call. A variety of resources are available to help parents and educators train children when and how to call 911. For more information, visit 911 for Kids. Parents should also be aware that wireless phones without a current calling plan through a wireless provider are still capable of connecting a call to a local 911 center. Children should be told not to dial 911 from these old or uninitialized phones, and it is recommended that parents remove the phone’s battery before giving these phones to children.

Why does the dispatcher keep asking my location, can't they see it on the screen?

While we are an Enhanced-911 center that receives location information, this information is not always correct, and in the case of cellular phones, can often be off by miles. It is crucial that you try to describe your location as accurately as possible. It is not unusual for a caller to not remember their own address during a stressful situation, so It is also crucial for you and your family to familiarize yourself with your home address.

Can I call 911 if I lock my keys in my car?

No. Unless there is someone trapped inside the vehicle, this does not constitute an emergency. In addition, most local law enforcement agencies will no longer perform unlock services due to liability concerns. We recommend calling a wrecker service, locksmith, or roadside assistance.

Can 911 tell me why my power is out, or when it will come back on?

No. 911 does not have any "inside information" from the electric companies. We can not get estimated restoration times for you. If someone is on home oxygen or other vital medical equipment, we can dispatch emergency medical services if the lack of electric power is causing a medical emergency.

Can I call 911 to ask medical or legal questions?

Our dispatchers are not medical or legal professionals. We can not give you medical or legal advice.

I am putting in a new residence or building, how do I get a 911 address?

Marion County E-911 assigns all addresses in the county. See our Addressing page for instructions on how to apply.

I just moved to a new residence that already has a 911 address, do I need to notify Marion County E-911?

Yes, we maintain a database of all addresses in the county. This includes resident names and building descriptions. You can submit an update to the address you just moved to by visiting our Addressing page.

I demolished an old house and built a new one at the same address, do I need to notify Marion County E-911?

Yes. As mentioned above, our database also contains building descriptions. If you demolish or move an old building, and build a new one at the same address, we need to know what the new one looks like. You can submit these changes on our Addressing page.

I just opened a new business, do I need to notify Marion County E-911?

Yes. Our database also includes all business locations. If you started a business located in an existing building, or need a new address, please visit our Addressing page.

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