Boone County News Release

Press Archives Press Room

For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Scott Shelton, Joint Communications Director or
Brian Maydwell, Operations Manager
Phone: (573) 874-7400

Joint Communications Recognizes April as National 9-1-1 Education Month

April 2, 2015

Do you know when to call 9-1-1? Do you know what to tell the person on the other side of the call? Do you know what questions they will ask, or what they will ask you to do? Knowing what to do when calling 9-1-1 could mean the difference between life and death.

April is "National 9-1-1 Education Month," a campaign to help everyone understand the importance of 9-1-1 and the role everyone plays in ensuring effective and efficient emergency response in times of crisis.

"We're encouraging everyone to take time this month to think about what they will do when they call 9-1-1," said Boone County Joint Communications Director Scott Shelton. "Most people know to call 9-1-1 in an emergency, but it's important to have some vital information ready for the telecommunicator that takes the call. Being calm, knowing your location and being able to describe the emergency can all add up to a faster emergency response."

Shelton also encourages parents to educate their children on when to call 9-1-1 and what to do when they contact an emergency telecommunicator. He reminds all Boone County residents of the free service "Smart911," which allows them to provide information they want to make available to 9-1-1 telecommunicators during an emergency, such as allergies or health conditions. To find out more about Smart911, or to register for free, log on to the website

9-1-1 should only be dialed for immediate threats to life and property. For non-emergency incidents, Joint Communications encourages residents to call the non-emergency number at (573) 442-6131.

When Calling 9-1-1:

  • Tell the telecommunicator the location of the emergency. The telecommunicator must confirm the address and may ask you for more specific location information.
  • Briefly describe the type of incident you are reporting. Explain the incident, then stay on the line and do not hang up until the dispatcher tells you to. This allows the operator to provide you with information that can best help the victim, until first responders arrive on the scene.
  • Be patient as the telecommunicator asks you questions. While you are on the line the operator will ask additional questions or give instructions that will help in that particular emergency. While you are answering questions, information on the emergency is being entered and a response is being made while you are still on the line.
  • If you call 911 by mistake, do not hang up. Let the operator know it was an accidental dial. Otherwise, if an operator cannot contact someone at the home from which the 911 call was placed, police will be dispatched to the location.
  • REMEMBER - Disconnected cell phones can still call 911. If you give an old cell phone to a child to play with, remove the battery from the device. This prevents an accidental dialing of 911.