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How Do I Dial 9-1-1?

On a landline phone or pay telephone:

Desk Phone Rotary Phone Cordless Phone

What is a landline phone?

  • Landline phones come in many different styles.
  • The one thing that they have in common is that they must be plugged into a phone jack to operate.
  • Most landline phones are push button, however older phones have dial pads.
  • In addition there are many portable phones which may look a lot like a wireless phone.
  • Why don’t you identify all the phones your family use and know if they are a landline phone or a wireless phone.

What about pay phones?

  • Pay phones are located in public places and have push buttons. Older ones have a dial.

How to Dial:

  • Stay calm
  • Make sure your know the exact location and address of the emergency
  • Pick up the receiver or turn on the phone and wait for the DIAL TONE
  • Dial or press “9”, then ”1” and then “1” again.
  • Wait for the ring and the 9-1-1 Dispatcher will answer
Never practice calling -91-1 on a real phone
Remember you don't need any money to call 9-1-1 on any pay phone.
Cell Phone Cell Phone Cell Phone Cell Phone 


Some of the names people use for a wireless phone is a cellular, mobile, or car phone.

Remember a wireless phone is not the same as a portable phone you might have at home

There are many different types of wireless phones

When driving a vehicle and are involved or witness an emergency, pull over to a safe location and dial 9-1-1.

Tell the call-taker the location of the emergency, your phone number including area code, and your name. This information may not be displayed on the dispatcher's computer.

Use landmarks such as mile markers, billboards, etc. to describe the location of the emergency, if an address is not available

  • Be patient. Cellular/Wireless calls are not automatically routed to the correct agency. Often times you may need to be transferred to the proper agency in that area.
  • Stay on the line until the call-taker has all the necessary information.
  • Be sure to leave your phone on, in case they need to call you back for more information.
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•  9-1-1 for Kids® • Address: 14340 Bolsa Chica Road, Unit C, Westminster, CA 92683 •
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