Wireless Phone Services and 9-1-1

Approximately half of all 9-1-1 calls are now made on wireless phones.  Although wireless phones provide a reliable connection to 9-1-1 Public Safety Telecommunicators, callers should be aware of important differences in how wireless 9-1-1 calls are processed.

  • Depending upon location, the call will be answered by the local dispatch center such as the Dakota 911, or by the State Patrol.  The Public Safety Telecommunicator will determine if your situation requires the call to be transferred.
  • The Public Safety Telecommunicator may not receive your name and specific location on the 9-1-1 screen when you call.  Depending upon the age of your phone and grade of service, the location information may or may not be available.  The Public Safety Telecommunicator will need to confirm your exact location.
  • Mobile phones can also text to 911 however calling is preferred. “Call if you can, text if you can’t.”

Questions We May Ask

When calling 9-1-1 or the General Dispatch number, you need to stay calm and be prepared to answer the following questions:

1. What is the location of the incident?

2. What is the nature of the call?

3. Is anyone injured?

4. What other pertinent information can you provide?

5. What is your name and contact number?