The concept to dial a single, simple number to get help originated from England in the 1930s. Other countries then began to develop similar processes or systems. The first 911 call in the United States happened in 1968 in Alabama.

911 is usually the fastest way to report an emergency and get life-saving help. 9-1-1 dispatcherAn emergency can be a fire; any serious or life-threatening injury or illness; a stranger; or suspicious behavior near your location.

If your home is on fire, get out, stay out and call 911 from a neighbor's home.

When you call 911 in Olathe, the call goes directly to the County Communications Center. If you need fire or medical help, your call is transferred within seconds to the Johnson County Emergency Communications Center. The person who answers the phone is called a dispatcher. While you are talking with the dispatcher, he or she is sending people to help you.

 When you call 911, the dispatcher will ask you "What is your emergency?" Tell the dispatcher:

  • Your kind of emergency
  • Your name
  • Your address or location

It is important to stay on the line and listen to the dispatcher. Many times you can provide them with information they need. Dispatchers will also give you instructions over the phone that might help, so don't hang up unless they tell you "it's okay to hang up now."

Remember, 911 is free from a pay phone.