Media Contact:
Joe Piper, Deputy Director or
Stirling Williams, Operations Manager
Phone: (573) 874-7400


COLUMBIA, MO- 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 encourage 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 Chad Martin. “Most people know to call 9-1-1 in an emergency, but it is important to have vital information ready for the emergency 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.”

Martin 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 (573) 442-6131.

When Calling 9-1-1: