Calling 9-1-1 helps you reach emergency services when you need immediate help.
Don’t panic! 911 is here to help
911 connects you to emergency services – Paramedics, Fire and Police – when someone needs emergency medical help or when a fire or a crime is in progress.
When you call 911, the operator will ask if you require ambulance, fire, or police assistance. Then your call will be quickly transferred to the appropriate emergency communicator.
This video shows the crucial role of 911 emergency communicator:
The following content provides examples of when you need to get to a safe place and call 911 immediately.
- A home or building is on fire
- You see or smell smoke
- A person’s life is in danger
- Someone is breaking into a house or car
- You hear gunshots
Property or vehicle-related
- Someone is driving dangerously
- You are in, or witness, a serious car accident
- There’s an immediate threat to a person or property
Environmental or possible poisoning
- You smell gas
- Your carbon monoxide detector is going off
- There’s an environmental emergency, contamination, or poisoning
- Electrical wires are down
- Your carbon monoxide detector is going off
- Someone is choking
- Someone has chest pain or tightness
- Someone has a sudden, severe headache, vision problems, weakness, or dizziness
- Someone has trouble speaking or has tingling in their face, arm, or leg
- A child is vomiting or has diarrhea (or both) and will not eat or drink
- You’re not sure how serious your medical emergency is
Over 240,000 unnecessary calls
In 2021, the 911 call centre received nearly 615,000 calls. Close to 40% were accidental or non-emergency calls.
There may be times when you need to call Police or Fire when it is not an emergency. These can be very important situations, but there is no immediate risk to a person or property. Some examples of non-emergency situations are listed below:
Call police non-emergency numbers for these types of situations
A noise complaint
You’re reporting a crime that happened last night
A cat is in a tree and won’t come down
Call paramedic non-emergency for these types of situations
To find out which hospital your relative was transported to
To inquire about a missing items after going to the hospital by ambulance
Call 311 for these types of situations
Questions about fire pits
Complaints about bylaw infractions
Booking health clinic appointments
Building permit questions
Missed garbage collection
Question on a water bill
Call 211 for these types of situations
Need confidential access to social services
You’re looking for legal assistance
A newcomer to Canada looking for housing options
A family seeking counselling for mental health or addiction issues
A laid-off employee looking for employment programs
A caregiver for an elderly parent feeling overwhelmed and needing support
A relative or friend of a senior looking for available home support services
Non-emergency phone numbers
Do not call 911 for non-emergencies – it takes services away from people who do need them.
If you call 911 by mistake, stay on the line to tell the 911 emergency communicator that everything is okay.
If you hang up before speaking with the communicator, they will always call you back, and they might dispatch a police vehicle to investigate the situation. Calling back takes resources away from other emergency situations.
The following content provides tips to avoid calling 911 by mistake:
- Lock your cell phone.
- Do not program 911 into your phone. Autodialing will not save time and could increase the chance of dialing 911 accidentally.
- Teach your kids how to use 911 and make sure you unplug your phone when you are teaching
- The Country Code for India is 91, and some city codes in India start with 1. If you’re making a long-distance call to India, always enter the international code 011 before dialing the rest of the phone number.
The following content provides tips for making your 911 call run more smoothly.
While making the call
- Stay calm and try not to panic. We’re here to help.
- Remember an outside line if you’re using a business or office phone.
- Identify if you need Paramedics, Fire, or Police.
- Tell the emergency communicator your exact location, especially if you are calling from a cell phone.
- Do not hang up – the emergency communicator may ask you for more information.
- If you cannot speak, try tapping on the phone to respond to the emergency communicator.
Helping emergency services arrive faster
To find your exact geographic location, especially in a remote area, use the compass on your cell phone to get the latitude and longitude coordinates.
Clearly display your house number so emergency services can find your home. Make your house number stand out. If you live in a rural area or don’t have a mailbox on your property, place a sign at the end of your driveway that displays your house number.
If the emergency communicator does not hear or understand you, they may try to find your location and number using automatic identification systems and send emergency services to your location.
- Free from any telephone in Ontario, including pay phones or cell phones.
- Available throughout Peel.
- Available through T.D.D. systems for people who live with hearing loss or who are deaf. (Dial 911 and hold the space bar until you get a response). If you live with hearing loss and your phone is registered with your wireless service provider, you can also text 911.
- Available in 156 languages. You will be connected to telephone translation service.
- Available with VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phones. Make sure that your internet provider gives access to local 911 emergency communicators and that the service can display your address to the local 911 emergency call centre.