If you do not know your 911 address, contact us at (573) 874-7400.
Teach children to use 9-1-1
- teach children their address and phone number
- don't refer to the number as 9-11 (nine-eleven) as it may confuse them
- teach your children not to play with the telephone. Dialing 9-1-1 when there is no emergency may take a dispatcher away from a real emergency.
- write your address on a small piece of paper place it near your phone. This will make it easier to give or verify your address if you or your child become too nervous or frightened to remember it.
9-1-1 and autodial
Don't program 9-1-1 into your telephone. The number is easy to remember. By programming the number, you have more of a chance of accidentally dialing 9-1-1.
- 9-1-1 is a "free" call from any location, including payphones
- you may still dial 9-1-1 if your phone line has been cut off. However, we are not able to
transfer calls from 9-1-1 to other numbers
- do not use 9-1-1 because you have no phone
service or money for a payphone
- to "test" your phone to see if 9-1-1 works, call our office first at (573) 442-6131. If we are not busy with an emergency, we would be happy to verify your address and let you dial 9-1-1
- if you reside or work at a location that requires a number be dialed to access outside lines, remember to dial this access number to access 9-1-1.
When to use 9-1-1
Dial 9-1-1 only for emergencies. Emergencies might include, but not limited to:
- serious medical problems like chest pains
- severe bleeding
- difficulty breathing
- cardiac arrest
- any kind of fire whether it is a home, vacant building, business, or vehicle
- Any emergency where life, body, or personal property is in immediate danger
If you are not sure whether something is an emergency, dial 9-1-1 to report the incident.
When Not To Use 9-1-1
- do not call 9-1-1 for non-emergencies. The Public Safety Joint Communications Center dispatches for all local police departments with the exception of Centralia Police and University of Missouri Police. The number to report non-emergency calls is (573) 442-6131.
- do not dial 9-1-1 in the event of a power outage in your area. Call your utility company to report the outage. The numbers are available in your phone directory. If you or someone in your home relies on the power to run some sort of life-sustaining equipment, then dial 9-1-1 for medical assistance
If you call 9-1-1 by mistake
Do not hang up, stay on the line and let us know it was an accidental misdial. If we are unable to make contact with someone at the number the 9-1-1 call was placed from, a police officer will be dispatched to your location to investigate. This takes up an officer away form the ability to respond to a real emergency.
What to expect during a 9-1-1 call
- when you dial 9-1-1 with an emergency remain calm, be patient, and speak clearly
- sometimes it is important to take a deep breath to regain composure
- know the address of the emergency and directions to the emergency
- understand that no matter how many times emergency personnel have been to your residence or how well known you are in the community, the responding personnel may not know you or your residence
- let the call taker ask you the questions. Each call taker is specially trained and each question has a reason for being asked. Some questions may be asked more than once to clarify or verify the information. No one is deliberately stalling or delaying response to the emergency
- as soon as the call taker gets enough information, the call is sent to the appropriate dispatcher for dispatch. While this is occurring, the call taker will be asking additional questions or giving you instructions that will help in that particular emergency. Rest assured, even though the call taker is still asking you questions, your call has already been dispatched to emergency personnel. Instructing the operator to "hurry up" or "get them here now" does nothing to make units arrive any faster.
- And last but not least, do not hang up the phone
until you are instructed to do so by the call taker.
Emergency numbers around the country and the world