When to call 911... You should call 911 for any emergency.
What is an emergency?
An emergency is any immediate threat to life and/or property that requires immediate response from police, fire or EMS. Some examples of emergencies are crimes in progress, any kind of fire or a serious injury or illness. If you are not sure if an incident falls into an emergency classification, feel free to call 911 when an immediate response is needed.
What happens when I call 911?
A highly trained, professional 911 telecommunicator will answer your call to 911. We strive to answer all 911 calls within two rings. Depending on the nature of the call, you will be asked to answer a series of questions. PLEASE LISTEN CAREFULLY AND ANSWER ALL QUESTIONS! The telecommunicators are trained to ask certain questions for certain incidents. Even though some questions may seem petty, they are very important questions used to provide the highest level of public safety response. Please do not hang up until you are told to do so.
What questions will I be asked?
Where? Where is the incident taking place? Where is the patient? Where are you? What? What are you reporting? What kind of illness or injury? Who? Who is involved in the incident? Who needs an ambulance? Who are you? When? When did this happen? Is it in progress? Weapons? Does anyone involved have access to any weapons? Callback? What telephone number can you be reached at if we need to call you back?
While the call taker is asking you these questions, they are also entering the information into the computer aided dispatch (CAD) system, which allows another dispatcher to instantly process the call and send help.
What happens if I call 911 and hang up?
If the Rock County Communications Center receives a “911 hang-up” call from any residence/business within Rock County, our policy is to enter a call for an officer to respond. This is for your safety, as we have no way of verifying over the phone if you truly are okay. The telecommunicator will attempt to call the number back and verify an emergency. If the call is connected and the telecommunicator gets hung up on, for whatever reason, an officer will be sent.
Text to 911 / Wireless Phones / Internet VoIP / Next Generation 911
Text to 911
However, when 9-1-1 calls are made from wireless phones, the call may not be routed to the closest 9-1-1 center, and the call taker doesn't receive the callback phone number or the location of the caller. This presents life threatening problems due to lost response time, if callers are unable to speak or don't know where they are, or if they don't know their wireless phone callback number and the call is dropped.
Wireless 9-1-1 Location Accuracy
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) does not require Wireless 9-1-1 call location accuracy to match that of Landline 9-1-1 calls. The FCC set the accuracy level for handset based technologies as 50 meters for 67% of Wireless 9-1-1 calls and 150 meters for 95% of all Wireless 9-1-1 calls. Rock County Wireless Providers utilize the handset- based technologies. The difference in Landline 9-1-1 call and Wireless 9-1-1 call accuracy is further enlarged at times because wireless subscribers may be mobile at the time of calling 9-1-1.
Wireless 9-1-1 Services in Rock County
With the aid of the State of Wisconsin Wireless 9-1-1 Grant funding program, the Rock County Communications Center has implemented the necessary equipment within its Communications Center to coordinate Wireless 9-1-1 calls received from the predominant Wireless Providers servicing Rock County. Most of the Wireless 9-1-1 call locations have been accurate enough for public safety responders to find the 9-1-1 caller. The Communications Center is totally reliant upon the Wireless Providers for the location of the wireless 9-1-1 caller and is utilizing state of the art mapping and aerial photography software to assist public safety agencies in locating Wireless 9-1-1 callers.
Internet/VoIP Phones & Emergency Service
If you are considering buying internet-based telephone services, otherwise known as Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP), we would like to make you aware that not all such services provide access to the 9-1-1 network. Sometimes 9-1-1 service is provided but is not the full service we are used to receiving via regular wireline telephones. When a person dials 9-1-1 from a wireline telephone, emergency service providers automatically know the callers location and can direct emergency personnel to that location even if the caller is not able to provide an address.
If you are considering an internet-based telephone service for your household, you should ask whether the offer includes 9-1-1 service. If the advertising, whether in store brochures, media print, online or oral communications, is silent on this issue, it is likely that 9-1-1 is NOT being provided.
If the provider claims to provide 9-1-1 service, you should ask whether 9-1-1 calls are routed to the traditional 9-1-1 network. If yes, then the service is just like traditional telephone service. If the provider makes it voluntary or mandatory to sign up for 9-1-1 service, you may be required to go on line and enter your name and address so you can be located in an emergency. It will be very important for you to enter the information accurately and keep it up to date.
If you are considering a telephone service which does not include traditional 9-1-1 service, you should ask yourself how members of your household, including children, visitors and babysitters, will call for help in an emergency. Don’t forget that they will have to know your address and be able to communicate it to emergency personnel.
Next Generation 911 Video
Public Service Announcements/Videos
The community involvement function plays an essential role in high quality communications service to Rock County citizens. In order to ensure that our agency focuses on community involvement objectives we have appointed Shift Supervisor Derek Ninmer as the Community Involvement Coordinator.
Derek has made a goal of reaching out to every school district in the county. Over the past several years we have participated in National Night Out, Rock County 4H Fair, Rock County Senior Fair, and various other local community events. We also regularly meet one on one with various citizen groups through public speaking engagements and tours of our Center.
You can make arrangements with Derek to learn about Rock County Communications and 911 by contacting him via e-mail at [email protected] or by calling 608-757-5201. Derek works a rotating schedule so it may take up to three days for a response, so advance planning is recommended. Presentations can be customized for time restraints or content to fit the needs of both youth and adults.
Supervisor Derek Ninmer, Director Kathy Sukus & Supervisor Mark Elland at National Night Out in Janesville.
Supervisor Taylor with a group of citizens at our Open House "Dogs with Dispatcher" event.
Supervisor Derek Ninmer giving a tour of the center with a group of local Boys Scouts.
The Rock County Communications Center welcomes any interested groups into our facility to see our staff in action.
To make arrangements to tour our facility contact the shift supervisor at 608-757-5201 or Operations Manager, Brian Becker, at 608-757-5100.
Director Kathy Sukus on a tour
with Speaker Paul Ryan
Supervisor Kathy Churchill with tour
from Parker High School