The call to 9-1-1 can mean the difference between life and death in some cases. The Communications Center is the heart and brains of every police, fire and rescue agency. It is virtually the only link between those in need of assistance and those who provide it. The Palm Bay Police Department’s Communications Center is staffed by a group of professionals trained in handling emergency communications.
It is the job of these men and women to field calls for help and initiate the proper manpower and resources to respond to the situation. The Communications Center is staffed by emergency dispatchers and telecommunicators keeping track of field units, calls for service from both police and fire related emergencies, and recording all data that coincides with each call response.
When to call 9-1-1
9-1-1 is to be used only in emergency situations. An emergency is a situation that requires immediate response from the police, fire or emergency medical services. The 9-1-1 call taker is trained to ask specific questions to determine what type of help you need - Police, Fire or Medical. It is important for you to be prepared to state the location and nature of your emergency and then to answer all the questions. The questions they ask are for your safety and the safety of the responders. Here are a few examples:
- Where is your emergency (location)?
- What is occurring (nature)?
- Who is involved?
- What is your name, address and phone number?
- Are there weapons involved?
- And more.......
Never dial 9-1-1 and hang up. If you dial 9-1-1, stay on the line and explain to the call taker that you dialed in error. The 9-1-1 call takers are required to call back all "hang up" calls to verify if there is an emergency.
Teach your children how and when to call 9-1-1
Teach your child how to dial 9-1-1 from your home and your cell phone. Make sure they know when to dial 9-1-1 and when not to dial 9-1-1. When dialing 9-1-1, your child needs to know his or her name, address, telephone number, and parent's name. Explain to your child the importance of answering all the questions and to stay on the phone until the call taker tells him or her to hang up.
Dial 9-1-1 when there is a Police, Fire or Medical emergency, such as:
- Medical situations, such as a heart attack or stroke
- House fire, brush fire, vehicle fire
- Domestic violence
- Burglary or theft that is in progress
- Vehicle accidents with injuries and/or roadblock
- Suspicious activity
- Crimes involving weapons
Do Not Call 9-1-1
- For information
- When the power is out
- To report a plumbing problem
- To ask for a ride to a doctor's appointment
- Directory assistance
- To ask for directions
Tips for Cell Phone Users
- Always know your location and be ready to give directions to the 9-1-1 call taker using cross streets, mile markers, landmarks, and city and county names
- Always know your cell phone number
- Tell the 9-1-1- call taker what the emergency is
- If your call is disconnected, dial 9-1-1 again and let them know you were disconnected
- Never let your child play with an old cell phone. They are still capable of dialing 9-1-1
- Please remember to use your cell phone key lock. Many times cell phones dial 9-1-1 accidentally when they are placed in a pocket or purse
Never Prank Call 9-1-1
It is a prank when someone calls 9-1-1 for a joke or calls 9-1-1 and hangs up. If 9-1-1 lines or call takers are busy with prank calls, someone with a real emergency may not be able to get the help they need.
When to call the Non-Emergency number:
- To report property damage
- To report an accident with no injuries or roadblock
- Your runaway child has returned home
- Your house or car was broken into yesterday
- Your car was stolen sometime overnight
- Theft of property when the suspect has left the area
- Vandalism when the suspect has left the area
- Barking dogs
- Loud music complaints
- Lock outs when the vehicle is unoccupied and not running
- Lost and found property