How to Use 911
Fire & Ambulance Companies
Emergency Services Board
Policies & Forms
State & County Emergency Services
Department of Emergency Services
This page will be utilized to
familiarize you with the 911 process and to answer any
questions you might have about 911 service in Allegany
County. The service of providing 911 began here in 1979. Up
until that time, residents were required to call a 7 digit
phone number for emergency service. The first 911 system was
very basic. It provided only a means of simplifying the
dialing process. One number to call in an emergency would
put the emergency services of Allegany County into action.
This early 911 did not provide a means for giving the
dispatcher a telephone number or address with the 911 phone
call. This would come in 1992. Allegany County began to
provide a version of enhanced 911. With this new version,
the dispatcher receives the telephone number that the caller
is calling from along with the last listed telephone company
address for the phone number. It needs to be understood that
the dispatcher is still going to verify your phone number
and the address where the incident is occurring. This new
system aids in providing more rapid services to those
individuals who, by the nature of their complaint are unable
to communicate verbally with the dispatcher. The center also
provides TTY service for the hearing impaired caller via
911. Several people ask frequent questions about
911....Below is a compiled list of do's and don'ts. If you
have any additional questions, please don't hesitate to
911 Do's and Don'ts
Dial 911 only in an emergency.......If it is not
an emergency, dial the the specific agency you need via
the 7 digit number listed in the phone directory.
If you accidentally dial 911, please stay on the line
and let the dispatcher know that it was an accidental
call. The 911 dispatcher is required to follow up on
all 911 calls and verify the existence of an emergency.
If we are unable to communicate with someone at the
residence, we will dispatch police to check on the
you are calling for police assistance, please remain
on the line while the dispatcher transfers your call
to the appropriate police agency. The transfer time is
minimal but callers sometimes think they have been
Let the call-taker ask you questions. They have
been trained to ask specific questions that will help
prioritize the incident and send the appropriate
agencies to assist.
dispatcher will ask you 4 important questions.
What is the location
of the emergency?
What is the nature
of the emergency?
What is the
telephone number you are calling from?
The dispatcher may ask you additional questions
such as specific questions relating to the medical
problem a patient is having. These questions are asked
in order to provide the ambulance crew, and in other
cases the appropriate responding personnel, a clear
concise picture as to what is occurring on the scene.
This DOES NOT delay the notification of the responding
agency ie. Ambulance. The alert of necessary
personnel is being conducted while you are on the phone.
If you are calling by cellular phone, please be
prepared to describe in detail your location. To
this point in time, cellular calls do not give us an
automatic location identifier like a normal 911. Look
for distinguishing land marks, businesses, last exit
number, or mile marker. Be able to identify the
direction that you are traveling in. Know the last town
or city that you may have passed through.
Listen to the dispatcher's instructions for
assistance. The dispatcher may assist you in
performing CPR, or direct you to leave the building, or
take other action to protect yourself.
Don't hang-up until the
dispatcher has completed his call taking process.
Try to remain calm. Talk slowly, and in a clear
and concise voice. The dispatcher may ask you to repeat
yourself, or repeat back what you just said. Don't
become annoyed. This is done to verify with you that the
dispatcher has the correct information.
The dispatcher may elect to keep you on the phone
until help arrives. Remember, that help has been
notified. Keep the dispatcher advised of any changes
with the current incident.