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Be prepared to answer questions

Dial 911 to save a life, report a fire, or stop a crime. The 911 number is the right number to call in an emergency when a prompt response is needed, noted Renee Heidy, dispatch supervisor for Frontier Regional 911 service, in Condon.

There could be a fight or an assault occurring right now, a fire burning, or a medical problem occurring which could be life threatening.

The person who answers a 911 call is a trained dispatcher, who will ask questions to determine what kind of help you need -- fire, police, or medical. Be prepared to state the nature of the emergency, and answer all the questions.

“Answering questions does not delay response. As they ask their questions, keep your answers as short and direct as possible,” Heidy said.

Questions could include: What is the location? Where are you calling from? What happened? What is your name? What is your phone number?

While on the phone with the call taker, emergency help is being dispatched. Stay on the line, if asked to do so, this will not delay help from responding units. If it is possible and does not compromise your safety, do not hang up the phone until the 911 call taker says it is okay to hang up.

What if I call 911 by mistake? Stay on the line if you call 911 by accident, and tell the dispatcher that everything is OK. If you do not stay on the line they may have to send a police officer to your home to make sure there is not a problem.

When should I use the nonemergency number? The number 541-475-2201 is a nonemergency number which you can dial 24 hours a day into Frontier Regional 911 for nonemergency help. Using the nonemergency number keeps 911 available for true emergencies.

Some examples of times when you should call 541-475-2201 are: your house or car was broken into yesterday, your runaway child has returned home, you need to add additional items to the burglary report you made last week, your car was stolen sometime overnight, or someone stole your bike while you were at school.

“Sometimes we receive calls from someone who just doesn't know who to call, or who can't find the right phone number. People call to get directions, to obtain road or weather conditions, to report a power outage, or because they are having trouble finding a phone number in the phone book. These are not 911 calls, and they are not appropriate calls for the nonemergency number,” Heidy said.

A quick response in an emergency depends upon everyone using the emergency system and the nonemergency number properly. 

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