Monterey County Emergency Communications

Public Information


What is 9-1-1?
9-1-1 is the telephone number to use when you need immediate police, fire or medical assistance.

Dial 9-1-1 For:
Crimes in progress
Life-threatening situations
Traffic accidents
Injuries requiring emergency medical attention
Hazardous chemical spills
Fire/smoke detector or carbon monoxide alarms that are sounding
Sparking electrical hazards
Smoke in a building
Or any other emergency, if in doubt, call 9-1-1

Don't Dial 9-1-1 For:

Reporting a leaking fire hydrant (contact appropriate city agency)
Inquiring about a large fire or other incident (Tune in to your local news)
Seeking information about a previous call (Look in your local phone book for the 7 digit non-emergency number)
For other non-emergency incidents, contact appropriate City Agency.

Do not call 9-1-1 if you do not have a real emergency. Non-emergency calls to 9-1-1 can delay response to true emergencies. However, if you are in doubt if your situation is an emergency, call 9-1-1.

What To Do When Calling 9-1-1?
When you get on the phone with a Monterey County 9-1-1 Dispatcher, it is important to remember the following to get help to your emergency as quickly as possible:
Remain Calm.

Be prepared to give the correct address of your emergency and the phone number from where you are calling.

Stay on the phone with the dispatcher. Do not hang up until the dispatcher tells you to hang up. Keep in mind that help is being sent simultaneously as the dispatcher takes your information.

If you are in a secured area, be sure to let the dispatcher know the fastest way for emergency responders to gain access, i.e., gate code, guard, etc.

9-1-1 Frequently Asked Questions
Does It Have To Be An Emergency To Call 9-1-1?
When you need a response from an emergency service, dial 9-1-1. This means if you need a police officer, a fire engine, or an ambulance to come to you as soon as possible, you should dial 9-1-1. If your situation is not threatening life or property, dial the general number of the agency you need.

Do Dispatchers Provide Medical Care Instructions Before The Arrival Of Emergency Services?
No, 9-1-1 dispatchers are not allowed by law to dispense medical advice. In such case of a person in need of pre-arrival medical advice (EMD) Emergency Medical Dispatch, the 9-1-1 dispatch operator will transfer you to American Medical Response (AMR) located in Marina, Ca.,who is equipped to provide pre-arrival instructions.

Why Does The Dispatcher Ask Me So Many Questions?

Police/Fire/Medical Dispatchers follow a predetermined set of questions/protocols. Based on your answers to these questions, we can determine the best response/level of care for you. For example, a heart attack will elicit a different response level than a broken arm, and a trash can fire will elicit a different response than a house fire.

What should I do if my address as displayed by 9-1-1 is not correct?

Contact your local Monterey County
MSAG (Master Street Address Guide) County Coordinator

Can I program my home alarm system to dial 9-1-1?

No, by law automatically activated dialing and annunciation systems are prohibited from calling 9-1-1. The law requires access to the system to be initiated by a person.Your home alarm must go to an alarm monitoring company who will contact the Dispatch Center on a priority 7 digit line.

What if I don't speak English?

9-1-1 systems in the State of California provide for immediate translation services for Spanish, Vietnamese, and Mandarin Chinese languages. Additionally, Monterey County Dispatch has access to AT&T Language Line services providing translation for over 140 languages.

What if I can only communicate by TDD or Computer?

All Monterey County Dispatchers are equipped with TDD (Teletype Device for the Deaf) detectors and can communicate with TDD's from their 9-1-1 workstation.


Questions or comments? Please email Patty Eddings
Copyright 2003 @ Monterey County Emergency Communications - All rights reserved
Site Last Updated on 02/05/2008