Regional Homeland Security Coordinating Committee

This site was created in cooperation with the Regional Homeland Security Coordinating Committee, and is supported by funding from the Department of Homeland Security.


Know when — and how — to call 9-1-1

Call 9-1-1 to stop a crime, to report a fire, to save a life — or anytime an emergency response is required by law enforcement, fire or emergency personnel. You should call 9-1-1 anytime you believe there is an actual emergency. If you are unsure, call 9-1-1 and the dispatcher will make the final determination. Important tips about calling 9-1-1 (for adults)»

Please do not call 9-1-1 to report that electricity or other utilities are off; to notify authorities of traffic jams; to inquire about government services; or to learn general information.

Teaching children about 9-1-1

While many children are familiar with dialing 9-1-1 in an emergency situation, they often do not know other important information, such as their address or how to reach a parent at work. Experts recommend that you begin teaching your child this important information at about age three:

Talking to the dispatcher

When you call 9-1-1 to report an emergency, the dispatcher will ask you five basic questions:

Include the exact location or address of the emergency and a clear description of exactly what is happening. When giving locations include nearby intersections, landmarks, building name, floor, room or apartment number, and directions to the address, if possible.

Calling from wireless phones

It is very important that you provide as much information as possible to the dispatcher when you call from a wireless phone. This includes your wireless phone number and your exact location. It is a good idea to always know the name of the road you are traveling on, which direction you are headed and how many miles you are from the nearest town or the nearest cross street.

New technology is now available in the Kansas City region that allows dispatchers to receive the phone number and approximate location from where the wireless 9-1-1 call originated. But it is still important to know your exact location in the event of an emergency — especially if you are using an older cell phone or traveling outside the region.

If you have questions regarding your wireless phone and calling 9-1-1, contact your wireless service provider. 

9-1-1 for non-English speaking callers

All Public Safety Answering Points in the Kansas City Regional 9-1-1 System subscribe to the Language Line, which provides access to interpreters who speak more than 140 languages. Even when receiving a 9-1-1 call from a non-English speaking individual, help is only minutes away.

For more information about the Regional 9-1-1 System, visit