What Happens When You Call 911?

In Dunbar/Kanawha County

When you call 911 you are calling (Metro 911) for all types of emergencies: police, fire, emergency medical services (EMS), hazardous material spills, etc. The first thing the initial 911 dispatcher will do is determine what type of problem you are having in order to decide which dispatcher should take your call and what type of response to send. The initial 911 call goes to a 911 answering point and they determine if the situation is a police, fire or EMS emergency; your call will then be entered into a (CAD) Computer Aided Dispatch system which sends your information to the correct dispatch terminal.

Metro 911 dispatchers do not work alone at the dispatch center. One dispatcher may be taking the information while another dispatcher is paging out the closest fire station for the help you need. If you live in the area served by the Dunbar Fire Department and are calling 911 regarding a medical problem, a Kanawha County Ambulance is dispatched immediately at the SAME TIME as is the fire department. The dispatchers are specially trained Emergency Services Specialists and will have many questions. Do your best to answer the dispatcher's questions and keep in mind that help is being sent at the same time as the dispatcher is talking to you!

Example 1:

If you called 911 to say your house is on fire, the dispatcher that you are talking to would be sending that information to another dispatcher electronically and continue to ask questions and give you instructions. The other dispatcher is paging out the closest fire station to your house.

Example 2:

If you call to say you have a medical problem such as a possible heart attack, the dispatcher you are talking to is taking the information while he or she sends it electronically to dispatcher (x) who will page out the closest fire station to you, and to dispatcher (y) who will page out the closest ambulance. Dunbar fire stations also respond to certain medical problems and have trained Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) who can initiate emergency life-saving skills.

Don't hang up too soon!

The dispatcher taking your call can walk you through steps to help the person or situation in trouble. Please stay on the line and continue to answer the questions. Remember, help is coming while you continue to talk on the phone!

* DO NOT call 911 for any reason other than an actual emergency.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this page applies only to the Dunbar Fire Protection Area and represents the most likely and best conditions when calling 911. Circumstances can alter the actual procedures of call taking and dispatching.