9-1-1 is the emergency number to use when you need prompt, urgent help from firefighters, paramedics or law enforcement.
Call 9-1-1 to report:
- A fire
- A serious injury or medical condition
- A crime in progress or when a serious crime has just occurred
- An event happens that poses or indicates an immediate threat to people or property (such as screaming or gunshots)
- A suspicious package
- The following types of threats: bomb, radiological, biological and chemical
When you call 9-1-1:
Calmly and clearly answer the dispatcher's questions. You may be asked:
- What is the emergency?
- Who needs help?
- Where are you? This is especially important if you are calling from a cell phone.
- When did it happen?
- What is your name and phone number?
- Who is with you?
Stay on the line until the 9-1-1 dispatcher says it is okay to hang up.
Do not hang up if you dial 9-1-1 by accident. Tell the dispatcher your call was in error and that there is no emergency; otherwise, an officer may be sent to see if everything is okay.
When you're on a cell phone:
Calls from a cell phone in Santa Barbara County may be routed to the California Highway Patrol, and may not display some information for the 9-1-1 call taker the way calls from a land line do. That can result in a response delay.