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​​​​​​​​​FAQs​

What​ questions will I be​ asked when I dial 9-1-1?​

When I call 9-1-1 where is my wireless phone (cell phone call) routed?​

Why does the 9-1-1 call taker ask so many questions?​

​​​​​What if I don't speak English? 

Can I use 9-1-1 if I ​am hearing impaired?

What is this charge on my p​​​hone bill?

What if I dial 9-1-1 by mistake?

How can I save time u​sing 9-1-1?

When should I dial 9-1-1?​

Can I dial 9-1-1 for information?

If I am unable to speak or am choking, what should I do?​Can I still dial my police, fire or ambulance departments directly?

Can I get in trouble for making a prank call to 9-1-1?


Answers:

What ​questions will ​​I be asked when I dial 9-1-1?​​
  • What is the location of the emergency?
  • What is your call back number? (incase the call is dropped - especially if using a cell phone)
  • What is your emergency (what are you reporting)?
  • If a crime is involved, and you saw or can see a suspect, be prepared to give a description which may include: a description of the person, their clothes, their vehicle and which way they went. 
  • If medical attention is needed, questions will be asked about the type of problem.  Is it a heart attack, fall, car accident, etc.? Pre-arrival instructions will be given.​​

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​​​When I call 9-1-1 where is my wireless phone (cell phone call) routed?​

When you dial 9-1-1 from a cell phone, your call goes through the closest available cell tower. The call is routed to the 9-1-1 agency assigned to that tower.

When a dispatcher receives a wireless 9-1-1 call, they will normally have available to them the caller's wireless phone number. Additionally, the dispatcher might have an approximate location of the caller expressed in latitude and longitude (depending on the type or wireless phone used by the caller). It is best to assume that the dispatcher does NOT have your exact location when calling 9-1-1 from a wireless phone. It is important for you to remain on the line and provide the call taker with the exact location of the emergency to ensure that units are dispatched to the correct location.

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Why does the 9-1-1 call taker ask so many questions?​

The 9-1-1 call-taker is trained to ask a series of questions. Some questions will always be the same:

  • 9-1-1 what is your emergency?
  • What is your address?
  • What is your telephone number?

Once the initial information and nature of the emergency is determined, the appropriate public safety responders can be dispatched (Police, Fire, and/or Emergency Medical Services). The 9-1-1 call taker may need to keep you on the line to provide further instructions or information until help arrives. While you are being asked further questions and being given instructions, appropriate help is being dispatched. In many cases, the 9-1-1 call-taker is asking questions while the dispatcher is sending help.

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What if I don't speak English?​

Lee County 9-1-1 uses an outside service called Language Line. This allows a call to be connected to an interpreter. 

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Can I use 9-1-1 if I am hearing impaired?​

Yes. Each 9-1-1 station in the Communications Center is equipped to answer TTY or TDD calls. If a deaf or hearing/speech-impaired caller doesn't have a TTY/TDD, the caller should call 9-1-1 and not hang up. Not hanging up leaves the line open. An open line to 9-1-1 normally displays the telephone number and location information in the call-taker's screen. This information is useful in sending help.

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What is this charge on my phone bill?​

FL State 9-1-1 Fee: 50 cents

Funding and 9-1-1 User Fees: Florida Statute 365.171 grants the Board of County Commissioners the authority to include recurring costs for 9-1-1 service as a user fee to be collected both by the wireline and wireless telephone companies. The fee is allowable up to 50 cents per month per household or business telephone and shall be used exclusively for 9-1-1 telephone service to the residents of Lee County. F.S. 365.172-174 required wireless carriers operating in Florida to collect a 50-cent monthly fee from customers, effective August 1, 1999.

Current user fees:
​​YEAR​​​​​ACCESS LINES​WIRELINE USER FEE​WIRELESS USER FEE
​2014/2015​​372,300​40 cents​50 cents

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What if I dial 9-1-1 by mistake?​

If you dial 9-1-1 accidentally, please stay on the line and identify yourself. If you hang up, an attempt will be made to call you back. If there is no appropriate response, an emergency vehicle will be dispatched to investigate.

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How can I save time using 9-1-1?​

  • Place 9-1-1 decals on your phone where they can be seen.
  • Post your house numbers where they can be read from the street.
  • Use your street address as it appears on the street sign.
  • Educate members of your household on what 9-1-1 is and how to use it properly.
  • Be sure to give your apartment/condominium name and unit number.

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When should I dial 9-1-1?​

When there is immediate danger to person or property. For example:
  • Fire or smoke (brush or building)
  • Car, plane, train, or boat accident
  • Suspicion that a crime is being committed
  • Suspicious person or noises outside your home
  • Someone entering or around an unoccupied building
  • A person who is injured or ill and in need of immediate medical or hospital treatment

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Can I dial 9-1-1 for information?​

No. 9-1-1 should only be dialed for Police, Fire or Medical emergencies. 9-1-1 should never be dialed for information or directions.

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If I am unable to speak or am choking, what should I do?​

DIAL 9-1-1. Your location​​​​ and phone number will automatically be displayed for the 9-1-1 call-taker. DO NOT hang up. Even if you cannot respond. The police or rescue will be dispatched to investigate.

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Can I still dial my police, fire or ambulance department directly?​

Yes. The numbers for the police, fire and emergency medical agencies will remain the same for non-emergency situations. These numbers are listed in the white pages of the phone book.

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Can I get in trouble for making a prank call to 9-1-1?​​​

Yes. According to Flor​ida statute 365.172​ section 14:  9-1-1 and E 9-1-1 service must be used solely for emergency communications by the public. Any person who accesses the number 911 for the purpose of making a false alarm or complaint or reporting false information that could result in the emergency response of any public safety agency; any person who knowingly uses or attempts to use such service for a purpose other than obtaining public safety assistance; or any person who knowingly uses or attempts to use such service in an effort to avoid any charge for service, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.​

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