Important information about use of the 911 system
How to get help in an emergency – Dial 911
When you call for help, what you say is important.
When to call 911 – Emergencies Only
- Stay calm and speak clearly.
- Say what is wrong and what kind of help you need.
- Tell the 911 Operator where the emergency is.
- Give your name and telephone number, or you may remain anonymous.
- Follow the 911 Operator’s instructions – stay on the line until you are told to hang up.
Calling 911 can save valuable time in an emergency. Some people aren’t sure when to call 911. They call 911 for reasons other than emergencies. To complain about barking dogs, to ask directions, to report the power is out, or to check on road conditions.
Remember, calling 911 is for real emergencies – situations when you need police, fire, or an ambulance in a hurry. When people don’t use 911 properly, or abuse the system making silent or abusive calls, they tie up the phone lines and make it hard for others who really need help right away to get through.
Making Silent or Abusive Calls to 911, Penal Code statute 42.061
(b) A person commits an offense if the person makes a telephone call to 911 when there is not an emergency and knowingly or intentionally:
(1) Remains Silent; or
(2) Makes abusive or harassing statements to a PSAP employee.
(c) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly permits a telephone under the person’s control to be used by another person in a manner described in Subsection (b).
(d) An offense under this section is a Class B Misdemeanor.