In the event of an emergency where you need immediate assistance, please dial 9-1-1 to reach first responders.

What to expect when you call 9-1-1

When calling 9-1-1, your call will be answered by a trained operator at a central call centre. They will ask the type of emergency you are experiencing. It's important to always know your location when calling 9-1-1, whether by home phone or with a cell phone on the go. If you do not know your location, be prepared to describe it using cross streets or details of your surroundings.

Always stay on the line until you are instructed to hang up by the operator. Give the operator your phone number, so that if the call gets disconnected, they can call you back. If you get disconnected, call back as soon as you can.

Preparing for 9-1-1 calls at home

To best prepare for emergency calls at home, know your address and phone number. Write this important information down near your home phone. Your address consists of your street name and number, and the city/municipality you live in.

During a power outage, phones that require an electrical outlet will not work. Keep a charged cell phone around the home if possible, in case of emergencies during power outages. Teach children in the home when and how to use 9-1-1.

Calling 9-1-1 by accident

One challenge with wireless technology is the increase in 9-1-1 calls made by mistake from mobile devices in pockets and purses. These calls can delay help for other 9-1-1 callers experiencing real emergencies.

To prevent accidental 9-1-1 calls:

  • If children use mobile devices, ensure they are informed on the importance of only calling 9-1-1 for real emergencies and how to prevent 9-1-1 calls made by mistake
  • When you are not using your mobile device, turn it off or turn on the lock screen
  • Do not program your mobile device to automatically dial 9-1-1

If you dial 9-1-1 by mistake, stay on the line and tell the 9-1-1 operator that there is no emergency, and that the call was made by accident.

Prank calls

Prank 9-1-1 calls are a criminal offence. If dispatchers are busy with prank or non-emergency calls, someone with a real emergency may not get the help they need.

When not to call 9-1-1

Do not call 9-1-1 if:

  • You need directions or directory assistance (contact Canada 411)
  • You need to reach police, fire, ambulance services or medical professionals for a non-emergency in which you don't need immediate help (call the provider's non-emergency line)
  • You need to find a doctor or nurse practitioner
  • Fallen power lines (call Hydro One)
  • You need information on weather, road conditions or school closings (use the Weather Network or contact your school board)

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