This page has been archived and is no longer actively maintained by the FCC, but is presented here for its potential historical value.

The official emergency number in the United States and Canada is 9-1-1. Although the first 9-1-1 call was placed in Haleyville, Alabama in 1968, it was not until 1999 that the United States Congress directed the FCC to make 9-1-1 the universal emergency number in the United States for all telephone services. The 9-1-1 network is now a vital part of our nation's emergency response and disaster preparedness system. Emergency personnel and others often learn about emergencies through 9-1-1 calls. Dialing 9-1-1 quickly connects a caller to a nearby Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) dispatcher who is trained to route your call to local emergency medical, fire, and law enforcement agencies.

9-1-1 lines are designated for emergency calls, such as reporting a crime in progress, reporting a fire, or requesting an ambulance.

Using 9-1-1 for non-emergency calls may delay help for people caught in real emergencies. Some communities have designated the number 3-1-1 for non-emergency calls to police and other government services.

Information on communicating during emergencies and using 9-1-1 services:


Thursday, April 15, 2010