90 Days of Summer Safety: Know Your 9-1-1 Basics

Press Release

Contact: Lara Kohl


(682) 225-7113 (cell)

(817) 632-0507 (office)



90 Days of Summer Safety: Know Your 9-1-1 Basics


June 15, 2009  (Fort Worth, Texas)  Cat stuck in a tree. Lost and need directions. Time and temperature.  These may be important issues, but they are not important enough to call 9-1-1.


MedStar Emergency Medical Services encourages everyone to know their 9-1-1 basics, making emergency response faster and more effective.


When calling 9-1-1 in an emergency:

  1. Give the 9-1-1 dispatcher the exact location, phone number and address you need assistance. Use landmarks such as mile markers, billboards, etc. to describe the location of the emergency, if an address is not available.
  2. Stay on the line until the dispatcher has all the necessary information. Stay by the phone in case they need to call you back for more information.
  3. Answer the dispatcher’s questions as best you can. If you do not know, it is ok to day “I don’t know”. These questions do not delay response of emergency service.
  4. Stay calm. Remember that the calmer you are, the faster we can help you.
  5. Make sure the door is unlocked when first responders arrive.

 Tips for calling 9-1-1 from traditional, landline phones:

  • Use or maintain a landline at home and at work for 9-1-1 calls, as the dispatcher is more likely to get accurate location information from a landline.
  • Landline phones will not work during telephone outages.
  • Cordless phones will not work during electrical power outages.

 Tips for calling 9-1-1 from cell phones:

  • Most cell phones provide an approximate, but not exact, location to 9-1-1 centers that have advanced equipment. Give the 9-1-1 dispatcher your location using the address, cross streets or landmarks.
  • Be patient. If a cellular call is not automatically routed to the correct agency, you may need to be transferred to the proper agency in that area. Calls from cell phones may not arrive at the correct 9-1-1 center and may need to be transferred.
  • Calls from cell phones may drop or fail to go through based on signal strength.
  • Keep your cell phone charged.
  • 9-1-1 calls can be placed from an inactive cell phone (one without a service plan). Inactive cell phones cannot receive any incoming calls, including those from a 9-1-1 dispatcher. Call 9-1-1 back immediately if your call is dropped.
  • The 9-1-1 system is not equipped to receive text messages. 

Kids and 9-1-1

  • Teach your children to dial 9-1-1 only in an emergency. Help your children understand what an emergency is by providing examples.
  • Help your children learn their address and phone number.
  • Some cell phones marketed to children have a non-traditional dialing pad. An adult may need to program the phone to dial 9-1-1.

 Remember: using 9-1-1 in non-emergency situations prevents timely response to critical emergencies.


90 Days of Summer Safety

From June 15 thru September 7 MedStar EMS encourages the community to enjoy the summer activities safely through 90 Days of Summer Safety. Each week a new summer-themed safety topic will be highlighted.


About MedStar


MedStar is the exclusive emergency and non-emergency ambulance service provider to 15 Tarrant County cities including Blue Mound, Burleson, Edgecliff Village, Forest Hill, Fort Worth, Haltom City, Haslet, Lakeside, Lake Worth, River Oaks, Saginaw, Samson Park, Westover Hills, Westworth Village, and White Settlement. Established in 1986, MedStar provides advanced life support ambulance service to 421 square miles and more than 860,000 residents in Tarrant County. MedStar responds to an average of 100,000 emergency calls a year with a fleet of 47 ambulances.


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