Don't hesitate to call 9-1-1. The 9-1-1 system was created to make it easy to request a police, fire or emergency medical response.
Rochester Police dispatchers are highly trained personnel ready to assist you in determining the appropriate response to your call.
The Rochester/Olmsted County 9-1-1 system is an enhanced system, meaning that dispatchers may already have computer data to help identify the address from which your call is being made. However, they will ask you a few questions to help them determine what kind of assistance you need. It is important that you stay on the line while they gather this information.
If you accidentally call 9-1-1, do not hang up without talking to the dispatcher. Tell the dispatcher that it was a misdial. If you hang up without talking to the dispatcher they must call you back. If they receive a busy signal, voice mail or no answer, they'll dispatch two officers to verify that you are okay. Several times each month we dispatch squads to 9-1-1 hang up calls, most of the time everyone is fine, they simply misdialed.
One of today's popular business tools is quickly becoming one of the best safety resources as well. Cellular phones can help you in an emergency, and in some cases, make the difference between life and death. To be effective, motorists need to know how to properly use cellular phones. They also need to know what information dispatchers need in an emergency including the location of the problem or incident.
All calls to 9-1-1 from cellular phones are automatically routed to either our Communications Center or to the State Patrol dispatchers. Unlike most calls to 9-1-1 from your residence, the location of the caller is not displayed on the dispatcher's computer screen. In order to quickly dispatch emergency service personnel, the dispatcher must rely on the caller to tell them the location and nature of the emergency.
Please pay attention to the following details to help remember your location in case of an emergency.
- Mile markers and highway exit numbers.
- The county or city in which you're driving.
- The road on which you are driving.
- The direction of travel.
- Stay on the line until the dispatcher tells you to hang up.
- Remain calm and provide as many details as possible.
Don't put yourself in danger. Stay near the emergency scene only if it's safe.
When calling 9-1-1 to report an emergency, dispatchers need to know the following:
- Nature of the problem (a traffic crash, a medical emergency, impaired driver, fire, stalled vehicle, etc.)
- Location of the emergency.
- Whether there are injuries and the number of victims involved.
- Telephone number where you are calling from.
- Remember to stay on the line until the dispatcher says it's okay to hang up.
With the increasing use of digital networks, users need to be aware that due to extremely quiet airtime, once you've dialed 9-1-1, it may seem like your call did not connect. Callers are hanging up and redialing. It may take up to seven seconds to connect. This may seem like an eternity when you are at the scene of an emergency, but stay on the line, your call will go through.
- Children should be taught to call 9-1-1 for police, fire or medical assistance.
- The sight impaired can use the digits, 9-1-1, on the telephone, or use a pre-programmed speed dial button.
The hearing impaired can use a TDD machine.
(507) 328-6800 is our 24 X 7 non-emergency number. If you are not sure if your call is an emergency or not then err on the safe side and call 9-1-1. Our dispatchers will understand and give you the help you need. They can transfer your call to a non-emergency line if needed.
Some people hesitate to call us, thinking that we are too busy, they don't want to bother us or their concern is minor. If you see/hear anything suspicious, please call. We would rather be called and not needed than the other way around.
We are interested in continually improving service to our community and would appreciate your assistance in this endeavor. Please e-mail your thoughts, comments or complaints to Gary Mulleneaux Communications Manager, Rochester/Olmsted County Public Safety Communications Center.