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Calling 9-1-1

When should you call 911?

In an emergency, you should never hesitate to call 911.  An emergency is any situation that requires immediate assistance from the police, fire department, or ambulance personnel.  Examples include a fire, a crime (especially in progress), a car crash, or a medical emergency.  If you’re not sure whether the situation is a true emergency, we strongly recommend calling 911 and letting the call-taker assist you in your determination.

Our non-emergency business number is (231)722-3524 for crimes that are not in progress, or to speak to a dispatcher.

 What questions should you expect when calling 911?

     1.       “9-1-1 Muskegon, Where is your Emergency?”  If we don’t know where you are, we can’t send help.  The reason you are calling is important too, but not if we don’t have a location.

 2.       What are your Cross Streets?  We ask this question to verify we are sending help to the right location.  Did you know there are 10 different roads named “Maple” in Muskegon County?  We ask the closest intersections on either side of your address so we can confirm help is sent to the correct one.

 3.       What is happening?  This helps us determine whether the need is for Fire Services, Police Services, or Medical Services.

 The rest of a 9-1-1 call is catered toward what is being reported.  If it is a crime in progress, we will ask follow up questions about safety for our caller and responders, suspect descriptions, and direction of travel.  If the incident is medical in nature, we will provide medical instructions including talking someone through CPR or the delivery of a child.  All of our dispatchers are CPR/AED and Emergency Medical Dispatch certified. 

 It is always good to pay attention to your surroundings so you know where you are in case you have to call 9-1-1.  If you know the location, our dispatchers are trained very well to walk our callers through this process that can be very stressful.  Hopefully you will never be placed in the situation to need us, but when we are needed be assured we are ready to help!