How 9-1-1 Works

Walker County is served by an Enhanced 9-1-1 system. The name, address, and phone number of the telephone used to dial 9-1-1 is displayed on a computer screen at the 9-1-1 center.

This information along with the information obtained from questions the dispatcher asks, determines which emergency agency, or agencies, should respond to the scene. The department(s) are then notified to respond by another dispatcher who has been monitoring the call.

Walker County 9-1-1 direct dispatch's for all the fire departments that are on the Walker County Firefighters Association radio system, Walker County Rescue Squad, and Carbon Hill Rescue Squad. The other fire departments are dispatched through other dispatch centers.. All local police departments and Walker County Sheriffs Department are dispatched by either their own dispatch or arrangements made with another agency to dispatch their calls. Walker County is serviced by a private ambulance service that utilizes their own dispatch center. They are responsible for providing emergency medical instructions. If they are to busy they will ask Walker County 9-1-1 dispatchers to provide the instructions, so if the situation warrants do not hang up. Our operators will dispatch or connect you directly to the appropriate center.

Call 9-1-1 to report any emergency Police, Fire, or Medical. If you need help immediately, call 9-1 - 1. Don't waste time, call as soon as you think help is needed.

Examples of when to call 9-1-1.

  • Car wreck
  • Fire of any type, house, woods, vehicle, or other building
  • Dangerous situation such as gas leak or a power line down.
  • If you see a crime
  • Tornado or severe weather damages your home

Medical emergency; choking, drowning, heart attack, respiratory problem, severe bleeding, or any medical condition that you deem a life-threatening emergency.

Do not call 9-1-1 if the problem is not an emergency, look up the non-emergency number in the phone book. If you call 9-1-1 for non-emergencies, someone with a real emergency might have a delay in receiving service.

Examples of when NOT to call 9-1 -1

  • Loud party or music
  • Barking dogs or cat up a tree
  • To ask directions or general information
  • To report water or electricity is out
  • To check if a police report is ready or if someone is in jail
  • To check for severe weather reports

What should I say?

All you have to do is answer our questions! Stay on the phone and answer the Dispatcher's questions as calmly as you can. We will ask the following:

  • The address of the problem.
  • We know the address of the phone, but we want to make sure the address is correct and that the problem is actually at this address. If you do not know the address be prepared to give directions or describe your location.
  • The type of problem.
  • Tell us in plain language what is happening.
  • Details about the problem.
  • The Dispatcher is trained to get more information while the units are responding.

You can make a real difference by helping until the emergency units arrive, and the Dispatcher will provide directions for things such as

  • CPR
  • Rescue
  • Breathing
  • Childbirth
  • Choking (Helmlich Maneuver)
  • Control Bleeding
  • Other first-aid

Emergency Medical Dispatchers are trained to provide pre-arrival instructions to callers. Medical emergencies are the most common use of pre-arrival instructions.