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911 Do’s and Don’ts

911 Do’s and Don’ts

Worthington Police officers respond to several 911 hang –up calls (people calling 911 and then hanging up) to verify whether there is an emergency or not. Officers respond to all of the calls because they don’t know if someone needs assistance. Most of the time 911 was accidentally dialed and there is no emergency. If the person who misdialed the phone would stay on the phone, the police department could verify that there is no emergency and there wouldn’t be a need to send an officer. If you need non-emergency police assistance, please call 507-372-8430.

What can you do to help stop this problem?


  • Don’t dial 911 to play or test the system.
  • Don’t program 911 into your auto-dial phone.
  • Don’t hang up the telephone if you dialed 911 by mistake.  Instead stay on the line and explain to the dispatcher that you dialed by mistake and that you do not have an emergency.
  • Don’t hang up until the dispatcher tells you to.



  • Dial 911 if you have an emergency.
  • Briefly describe the type of incident you are reporting.
  • Stay on the telephone.
  • Let the dispatcher ask you questions—they have been trained to ask questions that will help prioritize the incident, locate it and speed an appropriate response.
  • Describe your location and the location of the emergency, including city/town, address or location, inside or outside, what floor, room, etc.
  • Describe the person involved in the incident.
  • Describe any vehicles involved in the incident.
  • Be patient as the dispatcher asks you questions.
  • Listen to the dispatcher’s instructions for assistance if you yourself are in danger.
  • Give the victim reassurance that help is on the way there.