How do I know if my call is an emergency?
Examples of emergencies are: a crime or incident in progress, a suspicious person or vehicle, or when there is a risk of loss of life or property. Non-emergencies include crimes or incidents not in progress, animal calls, directions, questions about special events, and loud music calls. If you are not sure if your concern qualifies as an emergency, go ahead and dial 911. The dispatcher will refer you to the non-emergency number if appropriate.
How can I help myself in an emergency?
Most importantly, remain calm and work with the 911 Telecommunicator. Valuable time can be lost to panic. You may be able to provide important information for the responders or take some important first steps to handle the situation at hand. For the speediest response possible, be prepared to supply the Telecommunicator with the following information: type of problem, where you are, where the problem is, phone number you may be called back at, color of the house, closest cross streets, landmarks, how many people are involved, descriptions of any vehicles involved, and descriptions of any suspects and direction of travel.
If you are calling from a cellular phone, make note of landmarks, mile markers on the highways, and any other information which could provide your location. When you dial 911 from a cellular phone, it is not answered by your local Dispatch Center, but rather the State of New Hampshire’s Enhanced 911 Public Safety Answering Point in Concord NH. It is vital to be as specific as you can regarding your location especially on a cellular phone.
What happens when I dial 911? Am I talking to my local Communications Center?
The answer is both yes and no. Your 911 call goes from your phone to the State of New Hampshire’s Enhanced 911 Public Safety Answering Point in Concord. The 911 Telecommunicator in Concord will ask you if your emergency is for police, fire or medical response. Your call is then routed to the Dispatch Center in Rochester. Rochester will take over the call and ask you more detailed questions to give the responding Officers a better idea of your situation.
Why does the Communications Staff sometimes tell me to call back on the non-emergency number?
Many people use 911 to call for any complaint or question they might have. If Dispatchers are answering non-emergency questions, true emergency 911 calls experience a delay. For non-emergencies, call 603-330-7127, hit option 1 on the auto attendant.
Why does it take so long for an Officer to show up at my house when I call?
There are several reasons for this. First, the large number of calls received often outnumber the Officers available to handle these calls. Second, the Communications Staff works on a triage system, using answers to their questions to prioritize calls from highest priorities to lower priorities. For example, a fight in progress or a motor vehicle accident with injuries would be assigned higher priorities than a barking dog or theft not in progress.