How and when to call 911
If you experience an emergency and dial 911:
• Provide your address or precise location of your emergency or incident. Our Communications Specialist must have your precise location where we can send first responders to help those in need.
• We will confirm your address or location to make sure that we send the right responders to the right people in need of help.
• Provide your telephone number in case the call is dropped.
• Provide your name.
• While our Communications Specialist asks you questions, their partner is sending first responders to your location. Stay on the phone and continue to answer questions to gain more information about your emergency.
• Give a detailed description of the incident you are reporting:
o If a violent incident is occurring, advise of weapon(s) that are involved (rifle, handgun, knife…).
o If you are experiencing a medical issue, the Communications Specialist will ask you specific questions and will render medical instructions to assist until first responders arrive. Answer the questions accurately and detailed as you can.
o If you are reporting a traffic violation, try to obtain a complete license plate, vehicle description, location and direction of travel without endangering yourself.
• Listen carefully and let our Communications Specialist ask the questions and guide the conversation so that we can get specific information to relay to our first responders.
• Answer questions clearly & calmly.
• Follow all directions provided by our Communications Specialist.
• Be prepared to provide a physical description of suspects, vehicles, houses, etc.
• Only dial 911 if you have an emergency. If you need to report a non-emergency, contact the non-emergency communications number: 363-3033.
• Do not call 911 if your power is out, unless you have an emergency and need Fire, EMS, or Law Enforcement. If your power is out, contact your service provider.
• Treat our Communications Specialist with respect and patience. They serve you and they are dedicated to help you during your emergency or incident.
• If you accidently dial 911, stay on the line and speak with our communications team.
• Make sure that your home/business address is posted where it can be seen clearly from the roadway and make sure your address is correct. This will assist first responders in quickly locating you during your emergency.
• If you see an emergency incident and you see first responder vehicles on scene, do not call 911 to report the incident. If emergency vehicles are on scene, our 911 team sent them to the incident.
• Do not call 911 to notify or activate Ravalli County burn permits. Go to Burnpermit.mt.gov to renew, obtain, or activate your burn permit. You can also contact your local Fire Chief or visit the Ravalli County Sheriff’s Office to have our staff assist you. You must activate your burn permit every time that you burn; activations can be completed at Burn permit.mt.gov or by contacting 866-212-6318. If you contact our Communications Center about burning permits, you may interfere with life and death emergency calls.