Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is 9-1-1?
A: The three-digit telephone number "9-1-1" has been designated as the "Universal Emergency Number" for citizens throughout North America to request emergency assistance. It is intended as a nationwide telephone number and gives the public fast and easy access to a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP).
Q: What is an Emergency?
A: An emergency is any situation where there are people or property at risk. Examples include fires, crimes in progress or medical emergencies. Your call is answered by a trained emergency call taker who will provide you with the assistance you require. You can also dial 9-1-1 from your cellular phone. The call is toll free.
Q: What You Should Know When Dialing 9-1-1
Q: What You Should Know About Cell Phones & 9-1-1
Q: What You Should Know If You Only Have Cellular Service at Home
A: If you or someone you know has decided to give up their wired phone at home in favour of cellular only, we recommend the following precautions.:
Q: Do Not Pre-Program 9-1-1 into Your Phone's Speed Dial Function
A: Each day our 9-1-1 emergency calltakers deal with a high percentage of false cellular 9-1-1 calls. On sets pre-programmed to dial 9-1-1, keys are often accidentally pressed, setting off unintentional 9-1-1 calls. Consumers unknowingly tie up 9-1-1 telephone lines, unnecessarily tying up the resources of emergency responders and causing a negative impact for true emergent calls for help.
Q: Language Line Services
A: In 1991, the Toronto Police Service contracted the capabilities of Language Line Services, in order to assist Communications Operators at the 9-1-1 Centre (Communications Services) to manage calls for service from citizens who do not speak English. This is an over the telephone line interpretation service. Since the inception of the Language Line Service, it is being utilized more than 200 times per month to assist in the management of calls from citizens who do not speak English. Language Fact: Approximately 6,700 languages are spoken in the world today in 228 countries. *
Q: What You Can Do To Help 9-1-1 Help You!
Q: What To Teach Your Children About 9-1-1
A: Do your children know how to get help in an emergency? Teach your children how and when to get help from 9-1-1 teach your children their address and telephone number as soon as they are able to learn keep it posted by all phones in case they are unsure tell your children to answer all of the emergency call takers' questions and stay on the phone until they are told to hang up teach your children about the dangers of making prank 9-1-1 calls.
Q: What Are The Dangers Of 9-1-1 Prank Calls?
A: Prank 9-1-1 calls waste time and money and can also be dangerous. If 9-1-1 lines or responders are busy with prank calls, someone with a real emergency might not get the help that they need.
Q: What Is NOT An Emergency?
A: It is not an emergency when the situation is not dangerous and immediate action is not necessary. Do not call 9-1-1:
Q: What If Your Complaint Is Not An Emergency?
A: If your complaint is not an emergency dial 416-808-2222, the non-emergency number for the Toronto Police Service. Use 416-808-2222 for non-emergency calls such as parking complaints, a noisy party, or lost and found articles. You can use your cellular phone for non-emergencies by dialing *TPS. In non-emergency situations the Language Line Service is available for non-English speaking callers. (over 140 languages) The non-emergency number 416-808-2222 and *TPS calls are answered by an "auto attendant". The "auto attendant" allows touch tone phone users to self direct their call. Callers with a rotary phone and those callers that choose the "Zero Out" option are answered by a switchboard operator to connect your call.