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911: To Call or Not to Call

A call to 911 should always be a call for help.

The Habersham 911 Center strives to educate the general public on the appropriate use of 911 emergency services. The department recognizes that the needs of each individual situation are often unique, and our goal is to meet these needs efficiently and effectively. In order to do so, the communications center makes a concerted effort to provide public education for when to call and when not to call 911.

Listed below are some examples of when to dial 911 and when not to do so. While not complete, the list may be used as a general guide. For situations that are considered non-emergency but you need to speak to an officer or have a report done, please call our administrative line at 706-778-3911.

If you decide 911 is the appropriate number to use, the section "What the Communicator Will Ask" will help prepare you to answer the operator's questions.

Call 911 for
  • Any immediate or potential threat to life or property
  • Any vehicle accident
  • Any medical emergency
  • Any fire emergency
  • Any suspicious persons, vehicles or activity
  • Any type of fight or disturbance (except non-emergency complaints, such as dog barking or loud music)
  • Child locked in a vehicle
  • Animal bites
  • Any other actual or perceived emergency
Do NOT call 911 for
  • A joke (this ties up the lines and may cause a true emergency to be delayed)
  • Power outages (call your utility company)
  • Telephone problems (call your phone company)
  • Directions
  • Telephone information (call 411)
  • Keys only locked in vehicle (call a locksmith or wrecker service)
  • Water problems (call city hall during business hours)
  • Nuisance animals
What the Communicator Will Ask
The communicator answering your call will ask you some common questions to verify the information displayed by the database. You should be prepared to give the following facts:
  • The address at which the crime/emergency is taking place.
  • What the emergency is (i.e., fire, medical, police)
  • The phone number you are calling from
  • Your name
  • The name of the nearest cross street
  • Your home address
  • Your home phone number
This is the basic information needed to dispatch the proper agency to handle the emergency you are reporting. In some cases the communicator will ask you further questions about the incident (examples below) to relay to responding emergency services.
  • What did you see/hear?
  • Where did the suspect go?
  • What did the suspect look like?
  • Is there anyone in the house?
  • What color was the car?

Although these questions are asked for the safety of all people involved, they also help police, fire, and ambulance personnel perform their jobs more efficiently.

All telephone numbers displayed in the E-911 center are considered confidential and will only be released to emergency services as necessary. It is the 911 Center's policy to refrain from releasing telephone number information to the press or to the public in general.


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