How does 9-1-1 work in Kerr County?
9-1-1 is in service for every telephone in city and rural areas within Kerr County and the southern most part of Gillespie County. When you dial 9-1-1, your call is automatically sent to the Public Safety Answering Point located at the Kerrville Police Department (KPD), 429 Sidney Baker, Kerrville, Texas. If you need to call 9-1-1 from a pay telephone, there is no charge- just pick up the receiver and dial. Upon receipt of a 9-1-1 call, information is automatically displayed on a computer screen that will assist the dispatcher in identifying the address from which the call is being placed. But it is vitally important that you stay on the line and tell the 9-1-1 dispatcher what help is needed and where it is needed.
What if you don't have an emergency?
Do not use 9-1-1 if you are in need of information from one of the emergency services. To obtain information from an emergency service, a seven digit number for each agency can be found on the "Public Safety Agency" page of this WEB site. 9-1-1 IS NOT A PUBLIC INFORMATION SERVICE!
Can the hearing impaired use the 9-1-1 system?
Yes. The Public Safety Answering Point call center is equipped with Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD) that enable communications with the hearing impaired. Dispatchers receive training in the use of TDD's and TDD symbols and jargon.
Does 9-1-1 work from cellular phones?
Yes. If you dial 9-1-1 on your cellular phone and reach a tower site located in Kerr County, your call will be answered by the Public Safety Answering Point call center at KPD. However, if your phone reaches a cell site outside Kerr County, your call may be directed to another facility. Therefore, it is even more important for cellular callers to remain on the phone to provide information to the dispatchers for responding emergency equipment.
Currently in Kerr County 9-1-1 calls initiated from cell phone provide no call back number or location information. Kerr 9-1-1 is upgrading network equipment and working with all cellular providers to provision enhanced cellular 9-1-1 service in the very near future. There is no charge for air time on your cellular bill for calling 9-1-1.
Does calling 9-1-1 mean you will get an immediate or faster response than dialing the non emergency number?
All emergency services (police, fire, and ambulance) will respond to your call for assistance as quickly as possible regardless of how the call is received. However, if an agency is busy, a response will be provided in the order of urgency.
What if a 9-1-1 caller doesn't speak English?
When necessary, the 9-1-1 call taker can add an interpreter from the AT&T Language Line service, which offers translation in more than 140 different languages. A non-English speaking caller may hear a short conversation in English and some clicking sounds as an interpreter is added to the 9-1-1 call.
What should I do if a dispatcher does not immediately answer when I call?
Stay on the phone and do not hang up unless you are in immediate danger. 9-1-1 calls are routed to the dispatchers in a time queue, meaning the calls that have been ringing longest will answer before one just beginning to ring. When you hang up, the line continues to ring until it is answered by a dispatcher and the line is locked on by the 9-1-1 system. The operator will call back to check your status.
Does 9-1-1 work with Poison Control?
Yes. If someone has taken a poison, dial 9-1-1 immediately. The dispatcher will connect you with the poison control center and if necessary send the closest emergency medical emergency response. If you need information about poisons, call the poison control center direct at 1-800-222-1222.
When should I teach my child to call 9-1-1?
Although children have been taught to call 9-1-1 as early as two or three years of age, four to five years is usually the best age. At four or five, children can understand what to do under certain circumstances (e.g. house catches on fire, parent is "asleep and won't wake up", etc.) Use the child's toy telephone to practice not only calling, but explaining the circumstances that may necessitate calling for help. Parents should enforce the fact that children should only call 9-1-1 for emergencies and not to play or just to see if it works.
What about 9-1-1 prank calls?
It's a prank call when someone calls 9-1-1 for a joke, or calls 9-1-1 and hangs up. Prank calls not only waste time and money, but can also be dangerous. If 9-1-1 lines or call takers are busy with prank calls, someone with a real emergency may not be able to get the help they need. IT'S AGAINST THE LAW TO MAKE PRANK 9-1-1 CALLS.
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