police, fire, or medical emergencies occur, 9-1-1 can help save precious
time. Your call is answered by a trained emergency call taker who
will provide you with the assistance you require. You can also dial
9-1-1 from your cellular phone. The call is toll free.
is an Emergency?
is any situation where there are people or property at risk.
Examples include fires, crimes in progress or medical emergencies.
You Should Know When Dialing 9-1-1
- At home,
you can dial 9-1-1 direct
- At a
business or other location, you may need to dial an outside
line before dialing 9-1-1
- At a
pay phone, dial 9-1-1. This is a free call. When using a cellular
phone be prepared to give the exact location of the emergency.
This is also a free call.
TTY access (Telephone Device for the Deaf) press the spacebar
announcer key repeatedly until a response is received.
Wire line or land line 9-1-1 calls in the City of Toronto
are accompanied by electronic data when they reach our call
takers. This electronic data includes your telephone number
and civic address. This means that if the connection is
lost or the caller cannot speak, help can still be dispatched.
In the case of cellular calls, electronic data with location
information is not automatically available to the call taker.
It is up to the caller to describe the exact location of
If you have a choice between using a wire line phone or
a cell phone to call 9-1-1, the wire line should always
be your first choice. The connection is more secure and
the location data is available automatically.
Your Cellular Provider offer Enhanced Wireless Service?
is available in the Toronto 9-1-1 network today to provide
the 9-1-1 call taker with the callback number of your handset
and the address of the cellular tower that picked up the
signal. Both pieces of information can be useful tools to
assist the 9-1-1 call taker in getting help to you more
quickly. This service is known as Wireless E9-1-1. Even
with this additional data, it is still up to the caller
to describe the exact location of the emergency.
Not all Cellular Service Providers offer this enhanced service,
in spite of collecting a monthly 9-1-1 access fee.
Companies such as FIDO (Microcell) and Bell Mobility have
the Wireless Enhanced 9-1-1 Service deployed City Wide.
Check with your Cellular service provider to find out if
they offer Wireless Enhanced 9-1-1 on your behalf.
You Should Know If You Only Have Cellular Service at Home
If you or someone you know has decided to give up their
wired phone at home in favour of cellular only, we recommend
the following precautions.
Always be aware of where you have placed your handset. You
want it to be easily found (by yourself and/or visitors)
at a moment’s notice, at all hours of the day.
Always ensure your handset has a fully charged battery.
You may feel safer leaving it powered on at all times, ready
to dial at a moment’s notice.
Understand that even though you are in your home, your home
address is not displayed to the 9-1-1 call taker. Be prepared
to provide this information verbally.
Ensure your carrier has current/accurate subscriber information
Understand that some of the common problems with cellular
calls do not go away just because you have dialed the digits
9-1-1. Voice transmissions can become distorted and/or interrupted
just like any phone call you may place from your cell phone.
Not Pre-Program 9-1-1 Into Your Phone's Speed Dial Function
day our 9-1-1 emergency call takers deal with a high percentage
of false cellular 9-1-1 calls. On sets pre-programmed to dial
9-1-1, keys are often accidentally pressed, setting off unintentional
9-1-1 calls. Consumers unknowingly tie up 9-1-1 telephone
lines, unnecessarily tying up the resources of emergency responders
and causing a negative impact for true emergency calls for
1991, the Toronto Police Service contracted the capabilities
of Language Line Services, in order to assist Communications
Operators at the 9-1-1 Centre (Communications Centre) to manage
calls for service from citizens who do not speak English.
This is an over the telephone line interpretation service.
Since the inception of the Language Line Service, it is being
utilized more than 200 times per month to assist in the management
of calls from citizens who do not speak English. Language
Fact: Approximately 6,700 languages are spoken in the world
today in 228 countries. *
Ethnologue, Languages of the World, Thirteenth Edition,
Barbara F. Grimes, Editor, Copyright © 1996-99, SIL
You Can Do To Help 9-1-1 Help You!
calm and speak clearly.
which emergency service you require (Police, Fire, or Ambulance)
and be prepared to provide the following: what is happening
what is the location what is your name, address, and telephone
remain on the line to provide additional information if requested
to do so by the call taker.
DO NOT HANG UP UNTIL THE CALL TAKER ADVISES YOU TO DO SO.
it is important to have your house numbers visible from the
street. This will assist emergency responders in locating
you as quickly as possible.
To Teach Your Children About 9-1-1
children know how to get help in an emergency?
your children how and when to get help from 9-1-1.
your children their address and telephone number as soon as
they are able to learn.
it posted by all phones in case they are unsure.
your children to answer all of the emergency call takers'
questions and stay on the phone until they are told to hang
your children about the dangers of making prank 9-1-1 calls.
Are The Dangers Of 9-1-1 Prank Calls?
9-1-1 calls waste time and money and can also be dangerous.
If 9-1-1 lines or responders are busy with prank calls, someone
with a real emergency might not get the help that they need.
Is NOT An Emergency?
is not an emergency when the situation is not dangerous and
immediate action is not necessary. Do not call 9-1-1:
For information about school closings, road conditions,
For directory assistance.
information about paying parking tickets.
you're bored and just want to talk.
If Your Complaint Is Not An Emergency?
If your complaint is not an emergency dial 416-808-2222, the
non-emergency number for the Toronto Police Service. Use 416-808-2222
for non-emergency calls such as parking complaints, a noisy
party, or lost and found articles. You can use your cellular
phone for non-emergencies by dialing *TPS. In non-emergency
situations the AT&T Language Line Service is available
for non-English speaking callers (over 140 languages). The
non-emergency number 416-808-2222 and *TPS calls are answered
by an "auto attendant". The "auto attendant"
allows touch tone phone users to self direct their call. Callers
with a rotary phone and those callers that choose the "Zero
Out" option are answered by a switchboard operator to
connect your call.
the Toronto Police Services)