Frequently Asked Questions
1. Don’t you already know my address & phone number? Why do you ask it again?
Yes. Dallas County 9-1-1 is equipped with “automatic location identifier” and “automatic number identifier” (ANI/ALI) technology that provides each caller’s address and phone number when calling from a wired phone. However, the telecommunicators at Dallas County 9-1-1 will ask for verification of your address and phone number, in case the help is needed somewhere else and to ensure ANI\ALI records are accurate.
2. Why do you ask so many questions? When will you send someone to help?
The process of determining what kind of help to send and from which department only takes a short amount of time, but does require that we ask some initial questions. Our goal is to dispatch an agency to help you, within two minutes from answering your emergency call. Our statistics show that the telecommunicators rarely ever take longer than two minutes to dispatch help and that the average time from answering your call until dispatch is one minute or less.
The telecommunicators attempt to tell you when they are sending help and that they need to keep you on the line to gather more information about the situtation or to give pre-arrival instructions, that may help the situation or be life saving.
The telecommunicator is actually the "First" First Responder, in that help is given over the phone, prior to the arrival of anyone else. The help that a telecommunicator gives, over the phone, often makes a big difference in the outcome of a call and has, in fact, saved many lives. So, we ask that you please stay on the line until the telecommunicator tells you to hang up, because it may make a difference in your emergency situtation or even save your life!
In addition to giving pre-arrival instructions, the information gathered by the telecommunicator provides the responding public safety officers with information that may allow them to better prepare for the call and that may keep the responders safe, by advising them of dangerous or potentially dangerous conditions.
3. What do I need to know when I call 9-1-1 from my cell phone?
You can call 9-1-1 from any cell phone. Because we don’t receive location information on all cell phones, the most important things to remember are your location, and your cell phone number. We need to know where to send help and we need to be able to call you back, if you get disconnected.
4. When should I teach my child about 9-1-1?
That depends on the child. If your child can read numbers & dial the phone, they can be taught to dial 9-1-1. Children can be taught to recognize emergencies and respond to those situations. Telecommunicators are trained to speak with children and obtain the information needed to send help.
5. What if a caller cannot speak English?
If a caller doesn’t understand or speak English, Dallas County 9-1-1 will connect the caller to the Language Line Service for interpretation. The Language Line has access to translators of more than 140 languages and is available 24 hours a day .
6. Can 9-1-1 handle TDD (Telephone Device for the Deaf) calls?
Yes. All of our consoles are equipped with TDDs, which allow us to communicate with hearing & speech impaired callers. This allows the telecommunicator to get all necessary information and provide life saving instructions to TDD users.
For an incident that involves anything other than a threat to Life or Property, call our
Non-Emergency number 417-345-1999 and press "1".
Your call will be answered by a telecommunicator as soon as possible.