Emergency Communications Division
The Department of Public Safety provides for the immediate response of police, fire, and emergency medical services (EMS) through 9-1-1, radio communications to first responders, and computer-aided dispatch.
9-1-1: Landline vs. cellular
The number 9-1-1 is the number most people in the U.S., and some internationally, call to get help in a police, fire, or medical emergency. A 9-1-1 call made over a landline in Montgomery County goes directly to the 9-1-1 center. When using a cellular phone to call 9-1-1, be aware that if you are near the border of Montgomery County and your call hits a cellular tower in a neighboring county, your call will be routed to that county's Emergency Communications Center. When giving the location, be sure to say "I'm calling from Montgomery County." That way, if your call ended up in a neighboring county, they can transfer you quickly so that help can get to you quicker.
9-1-1 should be used in any situation that requires immediate assistance from the police, the fire department, or an ambulance. If you are ever in doubt of whether a situation is an emergency, you should call 9-1-1. It's better to be safe and let the 9-1-1 call taker determine if you need emergency assistance.
- Never say "nine eleven," since there is no 11 on the telephone keypad. Always say "nine one one."
- Always call 9-1-1 from a safe place. If there is a fire in the house, get out first, then call 9-1-1. If there is an intruder in the house, hide or get out to call 9-1-1 from a safe place.
- Know your address – have it posted near the telephone.
- Rural residents should post directions to their house.
- Never call 9-1-1 as a prank or joke. You could get into trouble, your parents could get into trouble, and you could keep someone who really needs help from getting it.
- 9-1-1 is for people, not animals. If you have a problem with a pet, you should call your veterinarian.
- If you are not sure if you have an emergency, call 9-1-1 and explain your problem to the 9-1-1 call taker.
- If you call 9-1-1 by accident, please don’t hang up. When the call taker answers, explain that you called 9-1-1 by mistake and that you do not have an emergency.
On July 20, 2015, the Montgomery County Commissioners announced that wireless phone customers have the ability to send short text messages to 9-1-1 in an emergency. At this time, Text-to-911 is only available to subscribers of AT&T, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, and T-Mobile.
Text-to-911 may be most helpful in these emergency situations:
- By individuals who have speech or hearing impairments, or who are having a medical emergency that renders them incapable of speech;
- Or in instances when making noise may endanger the caller, such as a home invasion/robbery, or instances of domestic violence or an abduction.
9-1-1 Quality Assurance
If you recently experienced the need to call 9-1-1 for emergency assistance, please take a few moments to complete this Emergency Dispatch Services Quality Improvement Survey. If you would like to submit a complaint or offer other comments, please click here.
Funding for 9-1-1
Each household or business pays a small monthly fee for 9-1-1 service on each telephone line that appears on their phone bill. There is no per-call charge for calling 9-1-1. However, EMS / ambulances dispatched through 9-1-1 may charge for taking someone to the hospital. This is a separate ambulance charge, not a 9-1-1 charge.