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911 Bureau of Emergency Communications

Partners in Public Safety. Call 911: Save a Life, Report a Fire, Stop a Crime.

911 Calls From Cell Phones

Calling 911 from a Cell Phone

When calling 911 from a cell phone in Multnomah County, your exact location will not automatically display to the 911 center as it does when calling from most home or business landlines.  

Be Prepared to tell the 911 Calltaker  

  • The location of the emergency (Address, street intersection, landmarks, city, mile marker, etc.) 
  • What the emergency is and what type of assistance is needed 
  • Your cell phone number

Remember

If you call 911 from a cell phone in Multnomah County, you will reach a recording that will direct you to press any key or speak something at the beep. This filter is in place to minimize accidental calls to 911 and allows calltakers to remain ready to answer your emergency call.

  • It is very important to stay calm and speak clearly.
  • Answer all questions to the best of your ability.
  • Do not hang up until the 911 calltaker has obtained all of the information that is needed and tells you they are terminating the call.
  • Since you are calling from a cell phone, the cell signal could be disrupted and your call may be unintentionally disconnected. Be sure to call back if you are cut off.
  • If you are waiting for your call to be answered, do not hang up. 911 may not be able to call you back if you hang up.
  • When calling 911 from a cell phone, be sure to stop if you are in a moving vehicle. It is difficult to obtain all of the information needed if you are getting further from the emergency.
  • Your call may need to be transferred to another agency.