How It Works

When you dial 911 from your home or business in Mills County, all calls go to one central public safety answering point equipped to send Law Enforcement, Fire and Emergency Medical Services to the location you need them.

In most cases, the Enhanced 911 system provides the 911 Call taker information, to include residence or business name, address and telephone number of the origin of the call. The 911 Call taker asks specific questions to clarify the nature and location of your situation. This information is relayed to enable the emergency responder to provide the best quality assistance while helping to ensure both responder safety and caller safety until emergency personnel arrives on location.

What is the major benefit of the 9-1-1 System?

The time saved by the use of an easy to remember, common number is the major benefit. Also, in most cases, Enhanced 911 receives the home number and location from which a call is placed, saving valuable time crucial to successful emergency service response.

When Should I Call 9-1-1?

  • To Stop A Crime
  • Report A Fire
  • Save A Life
  • Anytime an emergency response is required by Law Enforcement, Fire or Medical Personnel.

Tips to Remember When Calling 9-1-1

Attempt to stay calm when you are talking to 9-1-1 dispatchers. Take a deep breath. Dispatchers will verify your address and phone number. Listen to and answer each question. Do not hang up after dialing 9-1-1 until the dispatchers tell you to do so (even if you did not mean to dial 9-1-1).

When you report an emergency, the dispatcher will ask you at least five basic questions:

  • Where is this happening?
  • What is happening?
  • When did this happen?
  • Who is involved?
  • How can we help you?

What information do I need to give a good description?

In many 9-1-1 emergencies, dispatchers will ask you to describe the people and/or vehicles involved in the emergency.

When describing individuals, start at the top of the head and work your way down the individual’s body.

Questions dispatchers will ask are:

  • What is the presumed race and sex of he subject?
  • What was the presumed height and weight of the subject?
  • What is the presumed hair color?
  • What was the subject(s) wearing, (Start from top of head and go down the body)?
  • Did the subject(s) have a moustache, beard, accent, limp, glasses, or anything unusual that might make the subject(s) stand out? Were weapons seen?

When describing a vehicle the dispatcher will ask for the following information:

  • Color of the Vehicle
  • Year of the Vehicle
  • Make of the Vehicle
  • Body Style (2 door/4 door, etc.)
  • Additional description (dents, lights out, direction of travel, etc.)
  • License plate on the Vehicle

Can I Call 9-1-1 if I use a T.D.D.?

Yes, your 911 Center is equipped with TDD/TTY equipment. Communications professionals receive extensive training in handling emergency situations utilizing this special equipment.


The Communications Center continues in striving to better services provided to the community. Comments, questions, and concerns are always welcome.