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  When Seconds Count - Call 911

Sep 24, 2014 12:36 ET

Durham Regional Police Service is the Primary Public Safety Answering Point for the Region of Durham. Communications/911 Unit is responsible for the initial answering of all 911 emergency calls.

Calltakers at the centre answer 911 calls and direct them to the appropriate police, fire, or ambulance. For information on what they will ask, view our section What To Expect When You Dial 911

In the case of Durham Regional Police calls for service, the calltaker will continue on with the call and obtain all information as required by police. 911 calls for fire or ambulance are immediately transferred to the required emergency service.

When to Call 911

Call 911 in life-threatening situations or when there is immediate danger to life or property. For example:

  1. You or another person is injured and in need of medical attention (ie chest pains, bleeding, breathing problems)
  2. A fire or smoke has been detected, requiring the Fire Department
  3. A crime has just occurred, resulting in injury, potential injury or life-threatening situation, including domestic violence.
  4. You are following a suspected Impaired driver.
  5. A robbery or theft is being committed.
  6. The sound of breaking glass is heard.
  7. Someone is screaming for help.
  8. A loud explosion or gunshot is heard.
  9. A motor vehicle accident has occurred.
  10. Someone asks you to call 911 for an unknown situation.

Do not call 911 for these types of incidents. Call the non-emergency number 905-579-1520 or 1-888-579-1520 for:
  1. Theft of property that occurred days or weeks ago.
  2. Vandalism, egging houses, damage to vehicles.
  3. Street parking complaints.
  4. Any historic assaults (i.e. assaults that occurred weeks or years ago)
  5. Noise complaints (i.e. barking dogs, loud stereos, construction noise)
  6. General information about policing (i.e. to speak to an officer, fireman, or to ask for directions or information).
  7. Complaints about a police officer.
  8. Lost, stolen or found pets or property
  9. For directory assistance. Please check your local phone book

Help Us Help You
    Remember the six Ws.
  1. Where are you - tell the call taker exactly where you are standing, especially important when calling from a cellphone
  2. What are you seeing - give as much detailed information as possible
  3. When did this take place - if the incident is in progress let the call taker know immediately
  4. Who are you - give your full name, address and contact information
  5. Weapons - do you see one or is it implied that there may be one
  6. Witness - are you or is there someone else who witnessed the incident

911 Calls From Cellphones
When calling 911 from a cellphone, only limited information is available to the Emergency call takers.As a 911 cellular caller please:

- Give your location,
- Give your cellular telephone number, (including area code)
- Advise the situation. At this point you may be transferred to ambulance or fire if required.
- Await instructions from the call taker
- Stay on the line until advised by the call taker.
-Don't allow children to play with old cellphones. They can still call 911 so remove batteries and donate your old phone.

911 Calls From VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) Phones
If you purchase your telephone service from your internet provider 911 will not get your location or phone number. As a VoIP caller please:

- Give your location. Include address and town or city as this will enable call taker to either handle the information or transfer you to the proper 911 centre
- Give your telephone number (including area code)
- Advise what the situation is. At this point you may be transferred to ambulance or fire if required.
- Await instructions from the call taker,
- Stay on the line until advised by the call taker.

For non-emergency police calls:
Durham Region: 905-579-1520 or 1-888-579-1520
OPP: 1-888-310-1122


Some incidents can be reported to police over the telephone. For more information on calling in a report, click here.

To find out more about our Communications/911 Unit, view its Unit Profile.

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