When Should I Call 911
You should call 9-1-1 when you need immediate help either for yourself or someone else.
Calls to 9-1-1 should be reserved for emergencies such as:
- A serious medical emergency (chest pains, seizures, bleeding, etc)
- Any type of fire (structure, vehicle, brush, etc.)
- Any crime in-progress (robbery, burglary, prowler, fights, etc.)
- Any other life threatening situations (traffic accident with injuries, etc.).
If you are not sure if an incident falls into an emergency classification, feel free to call 9-1-1 when an immediate response is needed.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I CALL 9-1-1?
A highly trained, professional 9-1-1 Telecommunicator will answer your call. Depending on the nature of the call, you will be asked to answer a series of questions. PLEASE LISTEN CAREFULLY AND ANSWER ALL THE QUESTIONS! While they are asking you these questions, they are also entering the information into the computer aided dispatch (CAD) system. Working as a team, this allows another Telecommunicator to instantly process the call and send help. Please do not hang up until you are told to do so.
WHY COULD IT TAKE SO LONG FOR MY CALL TO BE ANSWERED?
It may seem like an eternity when there is an emergency and you are calling for assistance but in reality it may only be seconds. The 9-1-1 calls take priority over non-emergency calls and will be answered as quickly as possible but there are times when an incident causes a large number of calls to be received at the same time. PLEASE DO NOT HANG UP!
WHY AM I ASKED SO MANY QUESTIONS WHEN I CALL 9-1-1?
Although these may seem like an unreasonable number of questions during an emergency, they are very important to the responding emergency personnel. The 9-1-1 Telecommunicator must determine the type of services the caller needs and where to send the police, fire or medical personnel. For example, if a burglary has just occurred and the suspect flees, the officers have a much better chance of apprehending the suspect if they have a good description of the suspect and the direction that was taken. More important, if the incident in question involved a weapon, the life of the Officer may depend on the information given.
The 9-1-1 Telecommunicator may also ask questions to help determine the nature of a medical call either to relay the information to responders or to provide life saving instructions over the phone prior to the arrival of the emergency personnel, such as how to perform CPR or deliver a baby.
WHY DO TELECOMMUNICATORS SEEM ABRUPT AT TIMES?
The 9-1-1 Telecommunicators have a very serious job to perform and are responsible for quickly obtaining answers to specific questions. They concentrate on getting the facts and acting promptly. This sometimes is mistaken for rudeness. Protecting victims, law enforcement officers, fire department and emergency medical personnel are among the main objectives.
WHAT IF I CALL 9-1-1 BY MISTAKE?
Don’t hang up! It is very important to remain on the line, even if you realize you misdialed. When the connection is made, regardless if the line is answered or not, the Communications Center will still receive the call. Staying on the line allows you to advise the Telecommunicator that the number was dialed in error. If you hang up or the phone disconnects, the 9-1-1 Telecommunicator must process the call according to Policy and Procedures. This may involve the dispatching of an officer to your home or place of business in order to ensure that a problem does not exist.
CAN THE 9-1-1 CENTER COMMUNICATE WITH A SPEECH AND/OR HEARING IMPAIRED 9-1-1 CALLER?
All workstations in the Communications Center are equipped with an integrated Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD) that allows typed communication with people who are hearing and/or speech impaired.
CAN THE 9-1-1 CENTER COMMUNICATE WITH A NON-ENGLISH SPEAKING 9-1-1 CALLER?
If a caller does not speak English, the communications center has access to Language Line Services that provide 24hr/day over-the-phone interpretation of over 200 different languages. The process of getting an interpreter on the phone with the caller is generally less than one minute
IS IT POSSIBLE TO SEND A TEXT MESSAGE TO 9-1-1?
Yes, citizens and visitors in Volusia County can now send a text message to 911 during an emergency or life-threatening situation. When seconds matter, a voice call to 911 is the best and fastest way for the 911 call taker to retrieve and deliver life-saving information. A text message may take longer. If you are in an area that will not accept the text message, or if it is temporarily unavailable, a bounce back message will be sent stating “make a voice call to 911 for help; text to 911 is not available”.
For more information on Text to 911 service in Volusia County, visit: https://www.volusiasheriff.org/news/video-vcso-announces-rollout-of-text-to-911-service.stml
IF I NEED TO CONTACT THE COMMUNICATIONS CENTER, BUT IT IS NOT AN EMERGENCY, WHAT NUMBER DO I CALL?
You may contact the Communications Center, 24 hours a day, 365 days per year at the following numbers:
From your cell phone within Volusia County you can use #VCSO
HOW DO I OBTAIN A COPY OF A 9-1-1 CALL?
To request a copy of a 9-1-1 call you may contact the Communications Center at 386-248-1770, Monday–Friday 8 am to 5 pm and ask for Audio Research or if you wish to send an e-mail you may send it to email@example.com. There is a fee of $15.00 per audio request however, additional charges may apply. Audio requests are distributed through the County Legal Department; you may contact the County of Volusia Legal Department for pick up arrangements. Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) print-outs (county jurisdiction) are distributed through the VCSO Central Records Section, 123 W. Indiana Ave (4th Floor), Deland and are open to the public between the hours of 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday, excluding holidays. You may contact Central Records at the following numbers:
HOW DO I REGISTER MY PHONE NUMBER WITH 9-1-1?
Landline phones are registered through the telephone company when you request phone service. Wireless phones do not have the capability of being registered with the wireless service providers since they work on different technology. Wireless Phase II only requires the wireless carriers to deliver the telephone number of the handset originating the 911 call and provide the LAT/LONG coordinates, not the name or address of the owner of the phone. VoIP phones require you to register the address you will be making calls from and you must re-enter your new location if you move or take your VoIP services with you when you travel.
HOW DO I REGISTER MY PHONE NUMBER (LANDLINE OR WIRELESS) FOR EMERGENCY NOTIFICATIONS?
(Examples: boil water notices, evacuation orders, etc.) (This is not associated with the 911 system-see the above question)
The emergency notification system is provided by Volusia County Emergency Management for the purpose of emergency notification. Code Red is the vendor and you may register your phone number (landline or wireless) by visiting the Communication Important Links page to register.
DO YOU ALLOW TOURS OF THE 9-1-1 CENTER?
Yes, you may contact VCSO Communication's Administration, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday - Friday, excluding holidays at to make arrangements.