Making 9-1-1 Work for YOU!

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An informed caller is 9-1-1’s best caller. A reminder that 2-9-1-1 should be used when at WHOI - so being knowledgeable and prepared can make all the difference. Here’s what you can do:

For WHOI Scientists, Engineers, Employees and Students, Dial 2911 from your WHOI phone. For All Emergencies, Dial 508-289-2911 from your personal cell phone.

Know where you are:

This is probably the most important  information you can provide as a 9-1-1 caller, so try to be aware  of your surroundings. Make a real effort to be as detailed as  possible. If you are outside and don’t know the street address,  take a look around and try to find landmarks or cross streets. If you are inside a large building or one with multiple levels, you can help emergency services by letting them know which floor you are  on, which apartment you are in, etc.

Stay calm:

When you are on the phone with 9-1-1, you are their eyes and ears. Even though you may want to, try not to panic.  If you are crying or yelling, it can be hard for the 9-1-1 operator to understand you. If you are able to stay strong, pull yourself together, and answer all of the 9-1-1 operator’s questions. The faster they can get the right services to your location.  

What happens when you call 9-1-1?:
After you dial, the person who picks up on the other end will be someone who works at a 9-1-1 center or Switchboard and whose job it is to help you. They may ask you to do things to help or ask you questions. It is important that you follow their directions as best you can. They will send someone to wherever you are and stay on the phone with you until everyone is safe.

Never hang up:
Even if you called 9-1-1 by accident, or if you think the problem has gone away, it is important that you stay on the  phone until the call taker tells you it is alright to hang up. It is the call taker’s job to make sure that you are OK and that help has gotten to whoever needs it. In situations where you aren’t able to talk or have to leave, keep the phone off the hook so that  the 9-1-1 operator can hear what is going on in the room. Most  times, they will be able to use the computers at the 9-1-1 center to find your address.

Try not to be scared:

When you call 9-1-1, you become the eyes and ears for the call taker. Help will get to you much faster if you stay calm and can tell the call taker everything that is happening and can answer all the call taker’s questions.


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Last updated April 9, 2014
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