9-1-1 is for emergency use only.
If you do not have an emergency, please dial the non-emergency line:
Did you know you can text 9-1-1 if you’re unable to call?
If you need help, but can’t safely speak on the phone or are unable to speak, use your mobile phone to send a text message to 911.
Text to 9-1-1 is an option to help those who are deaf, hard of hearing, speech impaired and anyone who feels unsafe speaking over the phone
Placing a voice call to 9-1-1 for an emergency is still the preferred way to ask for help.
What is 9-1-1?
9-1-1 is the number to call for all emergencies. If you need police, medics, or the fire department, in an emergency, 9-1-1 is the number to call. 9-1-1 is the dedicated phone line that will connect you to your local Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). A highly skilled and well-trained dispatcher will be the person you will speak with.
How do I dial 9-1-1?
During an emergency, dial 9-1-1 from any phone. 9-1-1 calls will go through to your local PSAP whether you’re calling from a push button, cordless, cellular/wireless, rotary, or pay phone. Remember to remain calm and tell the dispatcher where emergency assistance is needed. Please remember to follow the dispatcher’s instructions; we are here to help you in an emergency.
When should I use 9-1-1?
9-1-1 is only to be used when an emergency has just happened, or when it is in progress. An emergency is defined as being any situation that requires an immediate “Code 3” type response from the medics, fire, or police department. In public safety, Code 3 means a response with lights and siren to a high priority situation. For example, any type of serious, or life threatening crime in progress, or injury vehicle collision. Any type of serious medical situation, i.e. a heart attack, a serious injury to a person, or an unresponsive person. Remember; use your judgment and common sense when dialing 9-1-1. Please do not dial 9-1-1 if you do not have a real, LIFE OR DEATH or CRIME IN PROGRESS emergency.
When should I not use 9-1-1?
Please do not use 9-1-1 to ask what the number for the non-emergency line is. Do not call 9-1-1 for/to: report a crime that has occurred hours or days earlier, animal related calls (unless the animal is attacking a person), civil standbys, child custody disputes, non-injury vehicle collisions, suspicious persons or vehicles, verbal disputes/arguments, general information, as a prank, loud music, loud parties, directory assistance, or to speak with an officer.
What if I dial 9-1-1 on accident?
Do not feel bad, many people misdial 9-1-1. The most common reason dispatchers hear, “I meant to dial 4-1-1.” If you misdial 9-1-1, do not hang up, stay on the phone with the dispatcher and let them know you misdialed. Do not disconnect until they tell you to do so. If you hang up, the dispatcher will attempt to call you back and check to determine if everything is okay.
Can I use 9-1-1 if I’m hearing/speech impaired?
The RPD dispatch center has equipment that allows us to communicate with citizens that are hearing/speech impaired by means of a TTY/TDD system. If you call via the TTY/TDD system, stay on the line, and tell the dispatcher what the problem is. Every time the dispatcher is done typing, they will end the sentence with “GA” which is short for go ahead. If you are hearing or speech impaired and do not have a TTY/TDD system or any other means of communicating during an emergency, dial 9-1-1 and stay on the line. The dispatcher’s computer will have your address and phone number, so they can send an officer over to check and see what the problem is.
Why does the dispatcher ask so many questions?
The dispatcher does this to determine the severity and nature of each call we receive. It is our job to keep our officers as safe as we can, and not send them into harms way without knowing some information. You may feel that the dispatcher is being nosey, or asking too many questions, but that is our job, we are in the business of information. We also ask questions to determine the priority of the call and how we need to respond. Say for example we get a call of a fight. We need to know if it’s a verbal dispute, or a physical fight, or a fight with weapons involved. A verbal dispute would get a different response as compared to a fight with weapons, which would generate a “Code 3” response from our officers. Also, it’s important for our officer’s safety to know if they might encounter a suspect who could be under the influence of drugs, or if the suspect might have a knife. We ask questions like, “which way did they leave,” so our officers know where to look for a person. All of these questions are important, and it’s even more important that you cooperate and answer them.
Why can’t you take my non-emergency call on 9-1-1?
As was said before, 9-1-1 is for emergencies only. The City of Ripon only has two lines dedicated to 9-1-1, and one 7-digit emergency line 209-599-5022, remember, we also dispatch for the City of Escalon after hours, weekends, and holidays. A major incident will generally generate a large number of 9-1-1 calls. For example, if there is a vehicle accident, it’s not uncommon for the dispatcher to answer multiple 9-1-1 calls, non-emergency line calls advising of the accident, as well as a few CHP cell phone transfers that are calling for the same accident. It’s dangerous to have 9-1-1 tied up on non-emergency calls. Just think, when you dial 9-1-1, you don’t want to hear a busy signal.
9-1-1 Prank calls
Prank calls are when someone dials 9-1-1 as a joke, or dials 9-1-1 and then hangs up when there is no need to dial 9-1-1. This is very dangerous; someone with a real emergency might not be able to get through. It is also against the law in the state of California to misuse 9-1-1. You can be charged with a misdemeanor if you make a 9-1-1 prank call. ( California Penal Code 653x)
If I don’t speak English, can you still help me?
Yes, we can help you. If you dial 9-1-1, or the non-emergency line, the dispatcher can conduct a three-way phone call with a translator that will assist them. If you can speak any English, please tell the dispatcher what language you speak so they can get the proper translator. The City of Ripon has a contract with a company called Language Line, which has over 150 languages that they can translate for us.
Can the police find me if I call 9-1-1 from my cell phone?
The City of Ripon Police Department has implemented a computer automated Geographic Information System (GIS). The implementation of this GIS mapping system/software will serve in direct support of the emergency call takers at this PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point). It will also assist in keeping our communications center functioning at its best in regards to the handling of all calls including the WE9-1-1 calls and providing the best service to our citizens whether by wireline or wireless calls. As of December 6, 2004 the City of Ripon Police Department signed an agreement with the State of California Telecommunications Division in regards to answering 9-1-1 calls from cell phones. Known as WE9-1-1 (Wireless Emergency 9-1-1)
What does WE9-1-1 mean for me?
If you have a cell phone and dial 9-1-1 inside the City of Ripon, you will now get the Ripon Police Department instead of CHP. What this means for you the caller is:
- No need for a call transfer
- Faster response time
- The caller is only interrogated once
- Caller will talk with their local police department
If the cell phone caller has GPS (Global Positioning System) capability on their cell phone then the dispatcher will be able to track the caller’s location as long as the call remains live/active. Also, if the caller is unable to speak and the cell phone they are using has GPS, the police will be able to respond to the location of the phone/caller and provide emergency help if needed.