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911 Call Procedure

When you dial 911 within the borders of Summit County, your call will be routed to the Summit County 911 Center; it does not matter what the area code of your cell phone is, your call will be routed to us regardless.

The dispatcher who answers your call is not a police officer. They will need to gather some basic, but very specific information to create an "incident" in a computer program called Computer Aided Dispatch. The information that the dispatcher will ask for is the minimum that is required in order to safely get you help.

Once that minimum information is gathered, it will be dispatched to the appropriate responders who will assist you with your problem. Depending on the situation that you are reporting, the dispatcher may or may not put you on "hold" after gathering the basic information, dispatch the appropriate help, then get back on the line with you to gather additional information.

911 Etiquete

Proper 911 Call Etiquete

911 is an incredibly abused system, so it is very important that callers understand some basics:

911 is for reporting EMERGENCIES; where an emergency is defined as an IMMEDIATE threat to life/health/or property. For situations which do not fit those criteria, please dial 970-668-8600.

A large percentage of 911 calls are accidental, especially from cell phones. If you dial 911 by accident, DO NOT hang up! We are REQUIRED to callback EVERY 911 "hang-up" that we receive, to determine if in fact there is an emergency. If, when we call back, no one answers and there is an address associated with the number, a police response will be sent to determine if in fact there is an emergency. Please understand that when you call from your cell phone, no address information is automatically provided to the Dispatcher.

So again, if you dial 911 by accident, DO NOT hang up! When the Dispatcher answers, advise the dispatcher that you misdialed and be prepared to confirm your phone number and location. By staying on the line and advising us that you misdialed, it saves us precious time calling your number back, whether at your home, a business, a hotel, or a cell phone.

Examples of Proper 911 Usage:

  • Reporting any situation that requires a police officer at the scene (e.g. assaults, traffic accident, burglary report, damage to property, parking complaint, other ordinance violations, etc.)

  • Summoning an ambulance for medical assistance.

  • Reporting fire, smoke or fire alarm.

  • Reporting a crime in progress.

  • Reporting suspicious or criminal activity. (shouts for help, glass breaking, vehicle or person that does not appear to belong in neighborhood).

Examples of Improper 911 Usage:

  • Informational requests. (e.g. local event information, status of persons under arrest, impounded vehicle questions, ordinance or law questions).

When to use non emergency #'s:

  • Ask for information regarding the status of a report or investigation.

  • Ask for information regarding a city ordinance.

  • Talk with a specific officer or employee of the department.

  • Information regarding a person who is under arrest.

  • Inquire about impounded vehicles or animals.

  • Request a copy of a police report.

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911 False Dialing Prevention

How to Prevent False Dialing

More than half of the 911 calls received in the SCCC are calls that were dialed in error.

  • Cell Phones - Use keypad locks, phones with key pad covers, and keep your phone in a hard-case when not in use

  • From Hotels - Dial slowly, if the hotel phone system requires the caller to first dial a "9", wait a few seconds and ensure there is a dial tone before dialing the phone number. Also be aware of the emergency dial button that some hotels have on their phones

  • Teach Your Children the proper use of 911 - Children should understand that 911is to be used for emergencies only and should learn their address and phone numbers as soon as they are able. Children can learn more about 911 during Fire Prevention Week every October at local fire department open houses and at the Safe Summer Kickoff hosted every spring by the Silverthorne PD.

If you do not have an emergency please do not dial 911. Use any of the following #'s instead.

  • Non emergency Dispatch Office Line: 970-668-8600

  • Summit County Police Department Phone #'s

  • Summit County Fire Department Phone #'s

  • Summit County Ambulance Services Phone #

  • Other County Department Phone #'s

Common Reverse 911 Question

Does the Summit County 911 Center have the ability to sign up cell phones for reverse 911?

At this time the Summit County 911 Center has the ability to send text message and email versions of Reverse 911 voice messages to cell phones voluntarily registered and "pinned" to the map within the borders of Summit County on the Summit County Alert website. When a Reverse 911 is sent out to a given area, a text message and email version of the emergency message will also be sent out, targeting devices pinned within the area.

The best thing a home without a landline can do is sign up for Summit County Alert. SCAlert is an alert notification system that allows officials to immediately contact you during a major crisis or emergency and can deliver important emergency alerts, notifications and updates to you on all your devices. You can register your cell phone, pager, email address and other devices to receive notifications from the office of Emergency Management.

Information 911 Dispatchers Need

What is the most important information required by 911?

911 will not solve your problem but rather is the first step in that process. It is our job to send responders to you, whose job it will be to solve your problem, whether that be extinguishing a fire, arresting a bad guy, stabilizing a medical condition and providing ambulance transport, etc.

First piece of information:

The first, and most important piece of information that the Dispatcher will need and ask for is your location; the more accurate you can be, the better: Street address, business or condominium name, building number/name, unit #, town name/subdivision name (i.e. 1001 Grandview Drive, Grandview Condominiums, Building B, Unit # in Breckenridge on Peak 8).

Second piece of information:

For medical emergencies: the Dispatcher will ask for the patient age & sex, if conscious, if breathing normally, the chief complaint, and what caused the chief complaint; depending on the cause, whether or not there are further safety concerns.

For fire emergencies: the Dispatcher will ask if you smell smoke, if you see smoke then the color and quantity, if you see flames, if there are any injuries, the type of structure, if hazardous materials are present, the number of people inside, and if they can get out. Based on your responses, you may be advised to evacuate yourself and others while ensuring your own safety; and to contact fire personnel when they arrive.

For police emergencies; the Dispatcher will ask if weapons are involved, if anyone is injured, suspect descriptions, suspect vehicle descriptions, suspect means and direction of travel, if they have left the scene, if you are safe, the details of the crime/situation. Depending on the situation being reported, additional questions may apply.

For search and rescue emergencies: the Dispatcher will ask where the missing person(s) are believed to be, when and where they were last seen, how long overdue, are there injuries, names and descriptions, vehicle descriptions/locations (such as at the trailhead), cell phone numbers, lat & long coordinates. And they will likely have a Search and Rescue Coordinator call you back, especially if you or someone in your party needs rescuing.

Additional information:

When you are traveling on Interstate 70 and need to report reckless drivers, drunk drivers, and road rage dial *277 on your cell phone and you will be directly connected with Colorado State Patrol.

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