911 Frequently Asked Questions
When I call 9-1-1 whom answers the telephone?
All 9-1-1 calls placed from a Winnipeg location or from a Winnipeg based cellular phone are answered by the Winnipeg Police Service. Their call takers determine the nature of the emergency and transfer the call for fire or medical responses to the Fire Paramedic Service Communication Operators
Why do I have to repeat my address and telephone number, doesn't it automatically show up?
The 9-1-1 system is designed to know where the call is coming from. This is called the ANI/ALI.
However, many times a call may be placed from a different address, a caller may have recently moved or the call is being place from a cellular phone.
When a call is received all addresses and telephone numbers have to be verified. If we cannot find you, we cannot help you.
It is a very good idea to have your address and telephone number beside your phone. In times of crisis it is very easy to forget your phone number or address.
Why are the people who answer the phone so abrupt?
Communications Operators have a very serious job to perform and are responsible for quickly obtaining answers to specific questions. They concentrate on getting the facts so you can get the help you are calling for. We are there to help you.
Why do they ask so many questions?
The more information we have, the better we are able to help you. Many times help is already on the way while the questions are still being asked. This allows the Communications Operator to update the responding crews and help you until the Fire or Medical crews arrive.
Is there a charge for calling 9-1-1?
Absolutely not. All 9-1-1 calls are free, even from a payphone or cellular phone.
What do I do if I accidentally dial 9-1-1? Should I just hang up?
NO! Remain on the line and tell us it was a mistake.
What happens if I cannot speak?
Just leave the phone off the hook so the Communications Operator can hear what is going on. We will send help
Why do they send firefighters when I have a medical emergency?
All of our fire apparatus are staffed with medically trained personnel. They are able to give you the medical attention you require until the ambulance crew arrives.
Should I call a family member before calling 9-1-1?
Always call 9-1-1 first. Arrangements can be made to contact a family member.
In a medical emergency, what happens if I cannot unlock my door?
As a last resort, fire crews have specialized equipment that allows us to gain entry with the least amount of property damage. We can always get to you.
What should I do with my pet?
Lock your pet in another room especially dogs. Your pet loves you and will try to protect you. In times of crisis animals may not react as they normally do. Our focus needs to be on you, not on a barking or biting dog or a cat that gets under foot. It is also a good idea to know where your pet’s favorite hiding spots are. Make prior arrangements for your pet in the event of an emergency that will keep you your home.
Last update: February 17, 2016