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Illustration of a phone

This lesson will teach you about 9-1-1.

9-1-1 is the telephone number that you can call in case of an emergency. When you call 9-1-1 in the City of San Diego, a San Diego Police dispatcher will answer the phone and ask "What is your emergency?" If you need the police, they are sent right away. If there is a fire or someone is hurt and needs an ambulance, your phone call is transferred to the Fire Department or the Paramedics.

The phone number 9-1-1 is hooked up to a computer. The computer knows your address as soon as you call, so if you call 9-1-1 and cannot say anything because you are hurt, the police dispatcher knows where to send help. When you call 9-1-1 and hang up without saying anything to the dispatcher, a police officer will still be sent to your house. If there is not an emergency, you should not call 9-1-1. You should never practice calling 9-1-1 on a real telephone.

Here are some good reasons to call 9-1-1.

  • When someone is hurt and needs an ambulance.
  • When the police are needed in a hurry.
  • When there is a fire.
  • When your mom and dad are fighting and you are scared.
  • When you are lost.

Here are some bad reasons to call 9-1-1.

  • When your dog runs away or is lost.
  • When your bicycle is lost or stolen.
  • When you are fighting with your friend.
  • When your cat is stuck up in the tree.

When you call 9-1-1, you should stay on the phone and listen to the dispatcher very carefully. Do not hang up the phone until the dispatcher tells you to hang up. If you know your name, address and telephone number, the dispatcher will ask you for it. The dispatcher will ask you a lot of questions. Answer the questions the best that you can. If you do all of these things, the dispatcher will be able to send help right away.