Wood County, Wisconsin

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About Calling 911

If you need POLICE, FIRE or AMBULANCE ASSISTANCE, you need to immediately DIAL 911

What happens when you call 911?

  • If you are calling from a landline phone your location is displayed to the Dispatcher but they will confirm Name including Date of Birth, Location and Phone Number. If you are calling from a cellular phone, which over 50% of our 911 calls are received from, your location should be displayed on our Mapping System. Age of your phone and not being GPS equipped, being in buildings, poor cell signal to towers can have adverse effects on these mapping capabilities. We also will not receive address information for callers who call our administrative numbers only on 911 calls. Your address is vital information and address verification is crucial. We cannot help you if we don’t know where you are.
  • Cell phones have been a great benefit as we get calls much sooner but they have also increased the number of calls we get for many incidents. If you see something happen, especially a vehicle crash, PLEASE find out if anyone is injured or pinned in the vehicle, fire or fuel spillage and advise of road blockage when you call. We get lots of callers that are driving past a crash and call 911 to say, “It looks really bad”, which leads us to send all responders and this increases the chance of a secondary crash because of these Emergency Vehicles going to and parked at the scene. You don’t have to get out of the car but at least pull up, roll down the window and ask if anyone is hurt and then call 911 so we get the proper responders to the scene as quickly as possible.
  • Our 911 Dispatchers enter the information you give into a computer and as soon as we know what you need, we will know who (police, ambulance, or fire) to send to help you. Get to the point as soon as possible. They have certain information that is needed for every call so calmly answer all of their questions. Emergency units (police, fire or ambulance) rely on the information you give to get to you as soon as possible and to be able to help you.
  • When dialing 911 for a medical emergency, callers want help even before the ambulance can get there. For this reason the Dispatchers are trained and utilize the Emergency Medical Dispatch protocol. An Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD) is a medical professional that makes critical decisions based on a recognized and certified program that follows specific guidelines. This program determines the patients' needs, the necessary medical resources and whether or not we need to respond in emergency or non-emergency mode. The Emergency Medical Dispatcher is able to identify the medical emergency through a protocol of standardized questions. Then they will be able to provide life-sustaining medical instructions over the phone until emergency medical services arrive (This is known as "Zero Minute Response").

    To achieve this Zero Minute Response, dispatchers will need to ask the 911 caller a series of systematic questions. The Emergency Medical Dispatcher will ask the address of the emergency, the telephone number of the person calling, the immediate medical problem, the patient's age, and if the patient is conscious and breathing. From there, the protocol will direct the Emergency Medical Dispatcher to ask further questions based on that specific emergency. Then the Emergency Medical Dispatcher will provide the appropriate pre-arrival medical instructions for the 911 caller to complete.

    This process of questioning takes very little time, so it is important that the 911 caller remain calm and answer the questions as best they can. Please note that certain answers to critical questions will trip the system to immediately send responders so the Dispatcher may ask you to hold on while they page responders and then return to the questions and pre-arrival instructions.
    • A Dispatcher radios or pages the proper agencies and gives the information to all units responding to the call.
    • Additional information from you is sent to responding agencies by radio. Details are vital, so remain calm and speak clearly.
    • Listen to the 911 Dispatcher. Answer their questions and follow any instructions they give you. Remain on the line until the 911 Dispatcher says it is okay for you to hang up.


Answering questions does NOT delay the dispatch of assistance. A dispatcher is sending help your way while they take additional information from you. The more pertinent information you give us, the safer everyone will be.

911 Hang-Ups

Our policy is to respond to ALL 911 hang up calls. If you accidentally call 911 or change your mind about needing assistance, stay on the line and explain that to the 911 Dispatcher. A Deputy/Officer will be dispatched to confirm that there is not a problem at the location and/or to speak with involved children if needed.