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The 911 Center is one of the three largest Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP) in Maryland—receiving an average of 2,200 calls a day and employing nearly 200 dedicated civilian employees who serve our community.
If there is a crime in progress or you need immediate medical or police assistance, call 911.
The most important information is the address of where help is needed. Baltimore County has a number of streets and businesses that exist in more than one area (i.e. Walmart, Target, Main Street, Oak Road, etc.), which is why calltakers will ask questions designed to pinpoint the correct location of your emergency. Stay calm while answering all questions and provide specific location details—type of location (business/residential), street, community, or apartment names and numbers, nearby landmarks.
After verifying the location, answering the remaining questions will not slow down a response. These questions help determine which units/equipment need to respond and provide responders with additional details.
The accuracy of your location depends on the type of technology your carrier uses and your service at that time. Carriers are required to provide latitude and longitude location-tracking capabilities within certain parameters for accuracy, however the location is not always exact. When in an unfamiliar area, try as often as possible to pay attention to nearby streets and other landmarks.
When your call is originally answered, say the language you need so calltakers can bring an interpreter on to immediately assist in the translation process.
Do not hang up—wait for the calltaker to answer and let them know your call was an accident. When you dial 911, your call is routed to the Emergency Communications Center, even if you hang up before someone answers. As a result, a calltaker will attempt to call you back and may send police to your location if they are unable to determine whether or not the call was an accident.
You should only text 911 in an emergency—prank texters can be identified and prosecuted. It may take longer for 911 to receive and respond to your message.
Text-to-911 is primarily intended for those who are:
- Deaf, hard-of-hearing or have a speech disability
- In a situation where it is unsafe to call 911
- Experiencing a medical emergency and may be unable to speak
Do not text and drive.
- Step 1. Enter 911 in the To or Recipient field of the text.
- Step 2. Include in your message the location of the emergency and ask for police/fire/ambulance, depending on the nature of your emergency.
- Text in simple words. Don’t use slang, abbreviations or emojis.
- Pictures and video cannot be included.
- Texts cannot include more than one person. (i.e. group texts)
- Step 3. Select the Send button.
- Step 4. Answer the questions and follow the instructions from the 911 calltaker. Translation services are not available.
In the event text-to-911 is unavailable in your area or temporarily unavailable, you should receive a message from your carrier telling you to place a voice or relay call.