When To Call 911

About 911

McPherson County is served by an Enhanced 911 or E911 system. When someone calls 911, the call is sent to a switching office at the phone company. The caller’s phone number is read and sent to the correct Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) where the number is matched with a name and address from a database at the PSAP. When the dispatcher answers one of the 911 lines, the phone number, name, address and other information is displayed on a computer screen. If someone dials 911 but is unable to stay on the phone or cannot speak, the dispatcher will send assistance. This information also allows the dispatcher to call back on hang up calls to ascertain if there is an emergency or just a misdial.

When to Call 911

If you have to call 911, stay calm and speak clearly. The dispatcher may ask several questions depending on the situation, so don’t hang up until the dispatcher tells you to. The information is necessary to better prepare the responders, ensure the correct level of response, and for the safety of the responders. Many times the call is dispatched while you are still on the line. The dispatcher may also keep you on the phone to update the responders of any new information, such as change in a medical condition, suspect and vehicle descriptions, etc.


Dial 911 for immediate fire, medical, or police assistance, such as:
Medical Emergencies
Car Accidents
Crimes in Progress
Fights and Domestic Disturbances
Anytime a life or lives are in danger

When in doubt, dial 911!

When not to use 911:

Crimes not in progress – Call the non-emergency numbers
Loud music or parties – Call the non-emergency numbers
Barking dogs or dogs running loose – Call the non-emergency numbers
To report controlled burns – Call the non-emergency numbers
For a copy of police report – Call the administrative numbers during business hours
For telephone numbers - Call Directory Assistance
Road Conditions – Call 800 585 ROAD or KDOT Road Conditions Map
Severe Weather – Check radio/television stations
School Closings – Check radio/television stations or School District Websites
Testing your phone
Power Outages – Contact your utility company