Calling 911

EMERGENCY DIAL 911 Fire - Police - Rescue

When you are faced with an emergency, the more you can do to save time, the better. That's why you should always call 911 whenever you need emergency help from sheriff / police, fire department, and ambulance, or all three.

Train Your Family

Train your entire family to use 911. Even a young child can learn to recognize an emergency and dial three easy digits. 911 calls can be made from any working telephone 24 hours a day.

Crime in Progress

If you know of a crime in progress or think people or property are in danger, don't hesitate. Call 911. Remember, stay calm and speak clearly.

When to Call 911

Here are some examples of situations in which 911 should be called:
  • Any fire or risk of fire
  • Any suspicious or dangerous condition
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • When someone requires immediate medical attention

What to Say When You Call

When you dial 911, a dispatcher will answer '911, what are you reporting.' Explain to the dispatcher what you are reporting (fire, burglary, illness, etc.) It is very important to stay on the phone. Provide as much information about the emergency as possible. Make sure to let the dispatcher be the one to terminate the call. Stay calm and speak clearly.

When it Would Be Better to Not Call 911

Please do not dial 911 for general non-emergency information. Here are some examples of situations:
  • To check road conditions or weather conditions
  • To report a controlled burn (please contact the Sheriff's Office at 540-967-1234)
  • To report a downed street sign
    • For street name signs, contact our headquarters at 540-967-3491
    • For all other signs (stop signs, speed limit signs), please contact Virginia Department of Transportation at 1-800-367-7623
  • To speak to an individual officer, firefighters or EMT
  • To speak to a utilities department, recreation department, etc.
  • When it would be better to use a regular telephone number instead of 911