9-1-1 Tips for Seniors

Helpful Tips for Seniors
  • Invest in a touch-tone phone with large, easy-to-read numbers.
  • Some phones can be purchased with a switch that will go from pulse dialing to touch-tone dialing - make sure the switch is set to touch-tone.
  • Call 9-1-1 right away in an emergency.
  • Dialing “0” will not always connect you with an operator nearby - it may connect you with an operator many hundreds of miles away.
  • Always dial 9-1-1 for local police, fire or medical emergency assistance.
  • Call 9-1-1 before calling a family member.
  • Once help is on the way, arrangements can be made to notify your family.
  • Stay on the line with the 9-1-1 call taker and answer all questions - the more information they have, the better able they are to help you.
  • Be patient and stay calm.
  • The call taker and emergency dispatchers may need to ask additional questions while help is on the way.
  • The 9-1-1 system allows the call taker to know where you are calling from even if you cannot speak, for instance, if you are experiencing a stroke or if there is an intruder in your home - just dial 9-1-1 and leave the phone off the hook. Do not hang up.
  • Post your address by your telephone - if you have just moved after retirement, you may have a new address, but you may recite your old address in an emergency situation, or you may have visitors who are not familiar with your address. This makes it difficult for the call taker to verify the address that appears on the computer screen.
  • Put your house number on your front, outside wall. Large white numbers against a dark background work best.
  • Emergency responders cannot help you if they cannot find you.
  • All calls to 9-1-1 are free, even from pay phones or cell phones.
  • 9-1-1 is a 24 hour a day service.
  • You should call immediately when an emergency occurs, even if it is in the middle of the night.
  • Keep your medical history taped to the refrigerator in an envelope clearly marked with your doctor’s phone number(s).