WHEN DO I USE 9-1-1?
9-1-1 is a reporting number. Call 9-1-1 to report an incident which you believe requires the response or intervention of a law enforcement officer, firefighter or emergency medical service. The professionals answering the 9-1-1 call will determine which agencies or units should respond and how quickly they need to reach the scene of the incident.

Call 9-1-1

  • When a person is hurt or injured
  • When a crime has been or is being committed
  • When a motor vehicle accident occurs
  • Any situation involving a fire

CAN HEARING IMPAIRED PEOPLE USE 9-1-1?
All 9-1-1 PSAPs (Public Safety Answering Points) in the state of Florida are required to have TDD capability for communication with hearing and speech impaired persons.

WHAT IF A CALLER DOES NOT SPEAK ENGLISH?
All Duval County PSAPs have translator services available for non-English speaking callers.

WHAT CAN I DO TO MAKE 9-1-1 WORK BETTER?
Post your house number clearly so the emergency responders can find you more quickly. See Operation Find Fast.

WHO PAYS FOR 9-1-1?
The state of Florida permits each county to collect a user fee on the telephone bills of the telephone service customers within the county. The revenues from the 9-1-1 user fee may be used only to pay the cost of the 9-1-1 system, telephone equipment, computer and location database charges, other required equipment, limited administrative expenses and a limited percentage of the salaries of the call-takers who answer 9-1-1 calls. The monthly fee in any county may not exceed $.50, and Florida statute 365.171 requires that the 9-1-1 funds be maintained in a separate account and audited annually.

IS THERE A PENALTY FOR ABUSE OF 9-1-1?
Yes, it is a first class misdemeanor to make false 9-1-1 calls and is punishable by $1,000 fine or up to one year imprisonment, according to Florida Statute 365.171(16).

HOW DID 9-1-1 BECOME THE UNIVERSAL NUMBER?
9-1-1 ..... the first telephone call was a call for help. In 1876 Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. During his testing he spilled a bottle of acid and called out 'Watson, come here, I need you.' His conversation was transmitted via the telephone to his assistant Watson in another room, and the first telephone call became a part of history.

The concept of being able to dial a single (universal) number to report emergencies was first utilized in Great Britain in 1937. Citizens could dial the digits 9-9-9 and reach a central operator who in turn would dispatch police, fire or ambulance as needed.

This idea came to the United States in 1967. It was introduced to Congress, and committees were formed to decide how to make the concept a reality.

First, the telephone companies had to find a three-digit number that was not being used anywhere in the United States or Canada as a central office exchange or an area code. Other considerations were that it should be easy to find on the telephone dial or easily dialed in the dark. The telephone industry decided on the numbers 9-1-1.

The very first 9-1-1 call was placed on Feb. 16, 1968 in Haleyville, Alabama.

The first 9-1-1 calls could only provide a voice connection. Callers knew that a call to 9-1-1 would connect them to the right people for emergency help. But the emergency responders did not have any information other than that provided by the caller. Still, 9-1-1 was a big improvement in emergency services.

Enhanced 9-1-1 provides the callers location information and telephone number via special computers and display screens. Enhanced 9-1-1 also provides for selective routing of 9-1-1 calls to multiple jurisdictions.