911 FAQ

  • When should I call 9-1-1?

    You should call 9-1-1 when you need immediate help either for yourself or someone else from police, fire or emergency medical personnel.


    Call 9-1-1 in case of: 

    • Any life-threatening situation
    • In progress Criminal activity
    • Urgent medical help required
    • Road accidents
    • Serious personal injury

    If you are unsure you have an emergency, dial 9-1-1 and let the communications center decide what action to take.

    Do Not Call 9-1-1 :

      • For any non-emergency situations
      • To ask for information
      • Power outages
      • For telephone directory inquiries


    Do NOT call 9-1-1 for information.  By doing so, you tie up phone lines and precious time for others with real emergencies.  Call the Manatee County Help Line at 941-747-HELP.

    Do NOT call 9-1-1 to report a power outage.  Report power outages to FP&L by calling 1-800-4-OUTAGE (1-800-468-8243).

  • When you call 911

    • Speak as clearly and calmly as you can
    • Give information on the location (know your address)
    • Give information on the emergency
    • Answer questions as best you can
  • What happens when I call 9-1-1?

    The phone system will route your call to the appropriate area's communication center.  The calltaker will ask several questions, such as the location of the emergency, the nature of the emergency and when it occurred.  They will also ask for your name, phone number, home address and any other details that may assist the responders.

    It is important to stay calm and answer all the calltaker's questions.  The communications center will dispatch your emergency to the appropriate responders.  You may be asked to stay on the phone until a responder arrives.  The calltaker may also provide basic first aid instructions when needed.

  • Why does 9-1-1 ask so many questions when I call for help?

    Your answers to these questions provide needed information to the fire, medical, or police responders, and help dispatchers determine what type of response to send.

  • Does answering all those questions slow down how quickly someone is dispatched to me?

    No, in fact if it is a real emergency, responders can be dispatched while the calltaker gathers information from you.

  • Why do I get a recording when I call?

    When 9-1-1 callers receive the recorded message it is not due to a staffing shortage; it can be due to a number of factors including many people calling in about the same problem, people calling 9-1-1 for non-emergency purposes or people calling 9-1-1 for inappropriate reasons.

  • What is Enhanced 9-1-1?

    Depending on what type of phone you are using, the Enhanced 9-1-1 address-based phone system makes it possible to identify a phone number and the location from which the 9-1-1 call is placed.  However, Enhanced 9-1-1 is only relied upon in extreme emergencies, thus the calltaker will always ask for your location and phone number.  ECC implemented Enhanced 9-1-1 service in Manatee County in 1995.

  • What if I call 9-1-1 by mistake?

    Do not hang up!  When the 9-1-1 calltaker answers, just tell him or her that you called by mistake.  If you just hang up, the calltaker does not know if an emergency actually exists at the location from which the call originated.

    With Enhanced 9-1-1, in most cases the calltaker will see the caller's name phone, number and address.  They might call you back to ensure that you are safe or they might even send a police officer to the address to ensure that there is not a problem.

    Children often call 9-1-1 and just hang up.  If this occurs, the calltaker will normally dispatch a police officer to the caller's location to emphasize the importance of calling 9-1-1 only in an emergency.

  • Do you allow tours of the 9-1-1 Center?

    Yes.  We encourage small groups to tour our facility in Bradenton which includes ECC and the County's Emergency Operations Center.  If you or your organization is interested in such a tour, please call us at (941) 749-3500.