How can people who are deaf or speech/hearing-impaired call 9-1-1?
People who are deaf or speech/hearing-impaired should have access to a TTY/TDD (Teletype/Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) in their home. Communications centers that answer 9-1-1 calls have special text telephones for responding to calls from these systems and go through regular training and testing to ensure proficiency in handling these types of calls. If someone needs to use a TTY/TDD to call 9-1-1, he/she should:

- Place the phone receiver in the TTY/TDD and dial 9-1-1.

- After the call is answered, press the TTY keys several times to notify the call-taker that the call is being transmitted with this system – this may help shorten the response time to the call. (Please note that this is not required. Operators are trained to check for TTY/TDD if they answer a call with an open line.)

- When the call-taker is connected to his/her TTY, he/she will respond/type “GA” for “Go Ahead.”
Type what type of emergency service is needed – police, fire or ambulance – as well as your name, phone number and the address where the help is needed.

If a deaf or speech/hearing impaired person doesn’t have a TTY/TDD, he/she should call 9-1-1 and simply leave the line open. With most calls, the caller’s address is displayed on the call-taker’s screen and the help will be sent.

Show All Answers

1. How do I know if a situation warrants calling 9-1-1?
2. If I’m in doubt about whether to call or not, should I still call?
3. What if I call 9-1-1 by mistake?
4. What happens when I accidentally call 9-1-1 and hang up?
5. What are the costs of unnecessary 9-1-1 calls?
6. How can people who are deaf or speech/hearing-impaired call 9-1-1?
7. How can a non-English speaker use 9-1-1?
8. Can I call 9-1-1 from a pay phone?
9. When I called 9-1-1, why did the dispatcher ask me all of those questions? All I needed was an ambulance?
10. I called 9-1-1 for an ambulance and I got a fire truck and an ambulance. Why did you send me a fire truck too?
11. Why do they send the police even when I called back and told them everything was okay?
12. When I call 9-1-1, why do I get someone different every time? Once, I had to tell my story three times in one night.
13. Why does it take so long for an officer to respond to my call?
14. Why does the operator keep asking me questions? If they would just send the police, they would find out all they need to know.
15. Why won't they let me talk to a police officer when I call?
16. Why won't they tell me what's going on when I call?
17. How does the 9-1-1 Call taker know my address?
18. What do you mean you don't have my address, don't you have Caller ID? Doesn't my information show up?
19. What if I don't know where I am?
20. Why does it take so long to get a dispatcher to answer when I'm calling 9-1-1 or the 935-5551 non-emergency number?
21. Why does the dispatcher hang up on me when I call to report a serious situation?
22. Why are Dispatchers so abrupt with callers?
23. Why doesn't an officer show up when I call in a situation that is in progress?
24. Why does my cell phone call 9-1-1 by accident?
25. Who pays for 9-1-1?
26. What is the difference between Basic 9-1-1 and Enhanced 9-1-1 Service?
27. How is the Wireless 9-1-1 Service being implemented?
28. How many calls are made to 9-1-1 annually?