Helping You Understand How the 911 System Works


Among our goals at Russell County Enhanced 911 in Phenix City, AL is to educate the public about 911. We want you to be aware of some important information about the system.

Cell Phone Services

Cell phones display your phone number and location subject to exceptions. Mobile phones are not as precise as a traditional telephone, so you should be prepared to give a location if you call from a cell phone. Read more about cell phones and 911 at the Federal Communications Commission.

VoIP Phone Services

VoIP phone service varies depending on the service provider. Please read the fine print from your provider about 911, and the FCC also has a good guide for consumers concerning VoIP. Combining location information with questions asked for the caller, the Public Safety Telecommunicator determines which emergency agencies should respond to the scene.

When Should I Call 911?

Call 911 to report any emergency, whether it should involve the police or sheriff, fire department, or medical personnel. If you need help immediately, call 911. Don’t waste time, call 911 as soon as you think help is needed. This includes the following situations:

Car Wreck
Someone is Choking on Their Food
Fire of Any Type, including House, Woods, or Buildings
If You See a Crime
Dangerous Situations Such as Gas Leak or a Power Line Down
Someone is Drowning
Someone is Hurt, Bleeding, or Having Trouble Breathing
Tornado or Other Severe Weather Damages to Your Home

What Should I Say?

All you have to do is answer our questions! Stay on the phone and answer the Public Safety Telecommunicator’s questions as calmly as you can. They will ask the following:

The location of the problem. 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 Public Safety Telecommunicator is trained to get more information while the emergency units are already responding.