FAQ

  • When Should I Dial 911?
    • While there is no exact list of reasons to call 911, it is important to remember only to dial 911 in emergencies.  Here are some examples of when to call 911
      • To stop a crime in progress
      • To report an injury or serious medical problem
      • To report a traffic accident
      • To report any situation where a rapid response is needed to protect life or property


  • When Should I Use the Non-Emergency Number?
    • 406-485-3405 is a non-emergency number which you can dial 24 hours a day for non-emergency help.  Using the non-emergency number keeps 911 available for true emergencies.  Here are some examples of when you should call the non-emergency number:
      • A crime that did not just happen
      • A non-emergent request to meet with an officer
      • information on civil papers


  • Are There Times When I Shouldn't Call 911 or the Non-Emergency Number?
    • YES!  You should not call the dispatch center for any of the following:
    • Power failure
    • Phone problems
    • Questions about road conditions/weather
    • To ask for other agency/department phone numbers
    • To find out where the emergency vehicles are going


  • Why Do Dispatchers Ask All Those Questions?
    • Please remember that the dispatchers are trained professionals.  They have been taught to process calls quickly and accurately.  The questions they ask help them to determine the best way to handle your emergency.  In some cases, the dispatcher may need to put you on hold to get help on the way and then come back to ask more questions.  Rememver, most of the time, McCone County only has one dispatcher on duty.


  • What If I Dial 911 By Accident?
    • Do NOT hang up before talking to the dispatcher.  Let the dispatcher know it was an accident, and answer any questions he/she asks of you.  If you do not stay on the line, and dispatch cannot make contact with you, an officer will be sent to your location.


  • If I call 911 On My Cell Phone, Will Dispatch Know Where I Am?
    • Under most circumstnces, your location will show on our electronic maps within a few feet of your actual location when you call from a cellular phone.  However, also know that this is not always the case, and you still need to give the dispatcher as much information about your location as possible.  If you are inside of a building, get as close as safely possible to a window.  This will help your phone to connect with the satellites that help us find your loation.  Also, some phones are not phase II compatible, and if this is the case, we will not be able to find your phone or you.


  • Can I Call 911 If I Use A TDD/Captel Phone?
    • Yes.  The McCone County dispatch center is equipped with a TDD built into each 911 phone system.  The dispatchers are trained in handling emergency situations using this equipment.


  • Will I Receive Medical Instruction/Advice When I Call 911?
    • McCone County does not currently have medical dispatch certifications.  This means the dispatchers are not legally allowed or trained to give out any medical advice or instructions.  If you are in need of this, you may be transferred, or asked to call the McCone County Health Center if they have personnel available.


  • I Am Looking Into Buying A VOIP Phone.  How Will That Affect My 911 Service?
    • VOIP, or Voice Over Internet Protocol phones allow you to utilize the internet to make telephone calls.  Severl of these services are mobile and can be used wherever you have a computer and internet access.  Please be aware that when you use these phones at a location other than your registered residence, you must register the new location before using the phone.  If you fail to do this, and then attempt to dial 911 during an emergency, the call will be routed to the dispatch center where the last location was, not where you currently are.  Some VOIP servies also do not allow you to call 911 directly.  Your calls will be routed to a call center maintined by your service provider, and then that operator will make contact with the appropriate dispatch center.




© Sharon Ellington 2013