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It's a prank call when someone calls 911 for a joke or calls 911 and hangs up when no emergency exists. Prank calls not only waste time and money, but can also be dangerous. If 911 lines or dispatchers are busy with prank calls, someone with a real emergency may not be able to get the help they need. This is a crime and you could be charged with unlawful use of the 911 system.
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911 is the number to call for emergencies (police, medical, fire). A 911 call goes over dedicated phone lines to the 911 Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for the area the caller is calling from, and trained personnel then send the emergency help needed. The very first 911 service in the nation was implemented in Haleyville, Alabama in February of 1968.
The Jasper County Sheriff's Communications Center is able to communicate to the hearing/speech impaired by using a TTY/TDD interface. If a caller uses a TTY/TDD, the caller should stay calm, place the phone receiver in the TTY and dial 911. After the call is answered, press the TTY keys several times. This may help shorten the time necessary to respond to the call. Give the dispatcher a moment to respond. If necessary, press the TTY keys again. The Communications Specialist will answer and type "GA" for go ahead. Tell them what is needed; police, fire department, or ambulance. Give your name, address and phone number where help is needed. Stay on the telephone if it is safe to do so. Answer the Communications Specialists questions. If a deaf or hearing/speech impaired caller doesn't have a TTY/TDD, the caller should dial 911 and stay on the line. Not hanging up leaves the line open. The caller's address is displayed on the dispatcher's screen and help will be sent.
911 is only to be used in emergency situations. An emergency is any situation that requires immediate assistance from law enforcement, the fire department or an ambulance. If you are ever in doubt of whether a situation is an emergency you should call 911, it's better to be safe and let the 911 dispatcher determine if you need emergency assistance. If you call 911 by mistake, do not hang up. Tell the dispatcher what happened so they know it is not an emergency. If the dispatcher is unable to verify that no emergency exists, a Deputy/Officer will be sent to the location unnecessarily.
In an emergency, dial 911 on your phone. It's a free call. You can use any kind of phone: push button, rotary, cellular/wireless, cordless, or pay phone. When dialing from a cell/wireless phone many times you can be located using our Phase II mapping. Stay calm and state your emergency. Speak loudly and clearly. Give the 911 dispatcher your name, phone number and the address to ensure they know where help is needed. Answer the dispatcher's questions. Stay on the telephone as long as it's safe to do so, and don't hang up until the dispatcher tells you to.
Each household, cell phone, or business pays a small monthly fee for 911 services on each telephone line that appears on their phone bill. There is no per-call charge for calling 911.