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Calling 9-1-1

In Dutchess County, whenever you have a situation that requires the immediate presence of fire fighters, emergency medical personnel or police officers, Dial 9-1-1. In a crisis, seconds count.

But remember, 9-1-1 is an emergency number ONLY!

How to call 9-1-1

Calling 9-1-1 is easy ... from a telephone in Dutchess County, listen for a dial tone, and then simply dial 9-1-1.

What happens when you call 9-1-1?

  1. When the 9-1-1 Call-taker answers the phone, you will be asked to verify the location from where you are calling and to describe the nature of the emergency.
  2. At this point help is already being sent. Even though the 9-1-1 call-taker is still talking to you on the phone, a second person (dispatcher) is sending help. Now the call-taker will ask you additional questions such as, "What is your name?" and any other questions that are pertinent to sending you the help you need. Sometimes it may seem the questions asked are unimportant. But every question asked is important to the units responding to your call. In the case of a medical emergency, several questions will be asked about the patient. All of them are relevant. The 9-1-1 call-taker will also provide instructions for you to assist the patient until the ambulance arrives.
  3. Stay calm, answer all questions asked by the 9-1-1 call-taker and do not hang up until instructed to do so.

When to Call 9-1-1

Call 9-1-1 to report:

  • A fire
  • A person choking
  • A person having a heart attack
  • A shooting
  • A traffic accident
  • A person screaming
  • Someone breaking into your home or a neighbor's home
  • A fight or display of weapons
  • Tree limbs on wires

An emergency is any situation that to preserve life or property, immediate response by emergency medical agencies, fire or police is required.

When Not to use 9-1-1

Do not call 9-1-1 to: 

  • Report power failures or outages
  • Request legal advice
  • Request directory assistance
  • Request the time for bingo, fireworks, parades or pancake breakfasts
  • Request or provide information that does not need immediate attention

How to Place Non-emergency Calls

 View our list of non-emergency contacts within Dutchess County.

If You Dial 9-1-1 by Mistake

If you dial 9-1-1 by mistake, DO NOT HANG UP. Stay on the line and explain that you do not actually have an emergency. If a caller hangs up without stating the problem, a police officer will be dispatched to the location of the caller in order to ensure that no actual emergency exists. At the very least, hanging up will waste an officer’s time; more importantly it may affect the speedy response to one of your neighbors that has an emergency.

One common misconception that citizens have about dialing 9-1-1 by mistake is they will somehow get into trouble. This is not true!