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Frequently asked questions about 9-1-1

Frequently asked questions about 9-1-1

If you dial 9-1-1 from your cellular phone, we will not know where you are at. You will have to give us location information to get units to respond.

In addition, reporting over a cellular phone presents another challenge – static and interference on the line. This can lead to missed information. Please be patient and understanding if the dispatchers asks you the same question more than once.

When you dial 9-1-1 from your cellular phone, you will be routed automatically to the 9-1-1 center closest to the cellular site you are using. This is not something you or we can control. As the default 9-1-1 center for King County, we received calls from as far away as other states. Be patient, you may have to be transferred to the correct Communications Center.

Each 9-1-1 station in the Communications Center is equipped with a TTY machine. To access TTY or TDD, press the space bar until a response is received.

9-1-1 allows emergency calls to be transferred to an interpreter. Interpretation is accessible from every telephone.

DO NOT HANG UP! Tell the dispatcher that you have dialed 9-1-1 by mistake, and that you do not need emergency help.

Anytime the police dispatcher receives a 9-1-1 "hang-up," the caller must be contacted to be sure that no actual emergency exists.

This is particularly important if you dial from a business phone with several phone lines. If your business has dozens or even hundreds of phone lines, it may be impossible for the dispatcher to determine who, if anyone needs help, and an officer must then be dispatched to the address.

Becoming a 9-1-1 operator is an exciting and rewarding career choice. We offer on-the-job training, so you do not need to attend a formal outside training before applying. Please visit our recruiting site to learn more, and consider signing up for email alerts when jobs are open.