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Calling 911

What happens when I call 911?

Not all areas in Northwestern Ontario have 911.  Please make sure you know the emergency numbers in your area.  You can look in our Contact Us section for alternate phone numbers.

The 9-1-1 operator will ask if you require ambulance, fire or police assistance.  Your call will be quickly transferred to the appropriate emergency communication centre.

Stay on the line and be prepared to answer all questions asked; answering questions does not delay emergency response.  For medical emergencies, be prepared to answer the questions related to the patients condition.

Some of the primary questions for medical emergencies you will be asked:

  • Where you need the ambulance? Including municipality, if it is an apartment, and the closest major intersection.  Remember, the ambulance can't help you if they can't find you. We can also use GPS coordinates to find you.
  • What phone number you are calling from (including area code)?
  • Is the person awake? Can you wake them up?
  • Is the person breathing? Are they breathing normally?
  • How old is the person?

Some of the primary questions for fire emergencies you will be asked:

    • Where you need the fire department?
    • What phone number you are calling from?
    • Why do you need the fire department?
        These questions will be asked on each call received at the CACC. There are more questions that may be asked depending on the person's condition or type of fire emergency. As information is gathered it is passed on electronically to a dispatcher who, in turn, relays this information to the Paramedics or Fire Fighters.

        • Sometimes it can be frustrating answering all of these questions but please keep in mind that we are trying to help you.

The communication officer will give you pre-arrival instructions to help you in your specific situation.

Stay on the line until the communication officer tells you to call back if anything changes.

If you call 9-1-1 by mistake, stay on the line to tell the 9-1-1 operator that everything is okay.  If you hang up before speaking with the operator, they will call  you back and/or dispatch a police vehicle to investigate the situation.  Do no call 9-1-1 for non -emergencies.