911 Tips

Tips to remember When Calling “9-1-1” for Emergency Assistance Although these tips are general, they are meant to apply to calls from citizens within the boundaries of Beaufort County who call "9-1-1" for emergency assistance.


  • General Tip Suggestions

    What to do when you call "9-1-1": 

    • Listen to the dispatcher and answer all questions.

    • Speak clearly and calmlyDo not hang up until the dispatcher says it is okay to hang up.

    • If you are reporting an emergency from your vehicle, be prepared to give road, street and address information. If possible, find out what the nearest cross streets are - or give information about prominent landmarks or buildings.

    • If you are reporting a reckless or intoxicated driver, give the direction of travel, approximate speed and the last location where the driver was seen. Describe the car and driver if possible. If you can, get the license number.

    • If you are reporting an accident, you will be asked if there are injuries.  Are lanes of traffic blocked? How many vehicles are involved? If you can determine if people are trapped or if dangerous substances are involved that information will be helpful, also.

    • If you report a fire, tell the dispatcher what is on fire, exactly where it is and if it seems to be spreading. If you can stay on the scene to direct firefighters to a fire that is not easily seen from the road, you would have provided a great service.

    • Reporting crimes in progress can be dangerous - so be careful. Do not take any unnecessary chances.

    • If you can safely determine what kind of crime is in progress and if there are any weapons involved, tell the dispatcher.

    • If there are any injuries, report that so medical personnel can be notified as well.

  • Tips when calling from mobile/cellular telephones

    When calling from a cellular telephone, it is recommended you stop the vehicle on the side of the road before dialing!  Remember that the dispatchers will not necessarily know where you are right away - so it is very important to let the dispatcher know exactly where the emergency is located.  You should be prepared to provide your direction of travel, the street name you are on, and/or physical landmarks such as buildings or major intersections.  You can report traffic accidents, reckless or intoxicated drivers, medical emergencies, vehicle or building fires, drivers in distress or broken down, or any crime in progress that you may witness.

  • Tips for addressing your house or business
    Often emergency personnel cannot locate houses and businesses because addresses are not clearly marked. Make sure your address is clearly visible from the street and that you are using the address issued by the County or Municipal addressing offices.  The address issued to you by the responsible agency in your area will be the address submitted to the telephone company for your telephone service or new service request.  That address will be what appears on the computer screen when you place a "9-1-1" call. If that address differs from what is posted on the house, it could cause a delay in the emergency personnel locating your house or business.