Why do I have to say 9-1-1 when I’m calling 9-1-1 from a cell phone?
When you call 9-1-1 in Multnomah County, you will be prompted to press a key or say “911” after hearing a brief recorded message. If there is no response or selection after nine seconds, the call ends.
Why the recording, why not just patch the cell phone caller through?
Calls to 9-1-1 from cell phones are predominantly how they are received. Use of landline phones are on the decline. Pocket dialing to 9-1-1 remains an issue as mobile devices placed in pockets or purses inadvertently dial 9-1-1, thus creating the need for 9-1-1 calltakers to verify if there is an actual emergency. While education around pocket dialing 9-1-1 has been around for quite some time, it bears repeating.
Should you have to call 9-1-1 in Multnomah County, press any key or say 9-1-1, you will be connected to a calltaker. At this point, say your location and let the calltaker now you have an emergency. Always know your location because not all wireless 9-1-1 calls provide location information. To get help quickly, be ready to answer the following questions:
- Where is the emergency? (provide address, landmarks, street names, etc.)
- What happened?
- What number are you calling from? Always give your area code and wireless number.
- What exactly has happened? Clearly describe what has taken place.
- If reporting a crime, suspect and vehicle descriptions are important along with direction of travel as to where they have gone.
If using a phone without a service contract and the call is disconnected, you MUST redial 9-1-1!
Information about how your call gets to 9-1-1 and what happens next
Call 9-1-1 to stop a crime in progress, report a fire, or call for an ambulance. If the situation is not an emergency, you should call 503-823-3333, the non-emergency number for all of Portland and Multnomah County.
What to expect when you call 9-1-1 from a cell phone