Call 911 for: a traffic crash with injury, fire, crime in progress (or just happened within 30 minutes), a fight, or any other emergency situation.
Also known as the 911 Center, the Emergency Communications Center (ECC) handles the 911 calls from the entire County. Most people know about Harrisonburg Police Department, Harrisonburg Fire Department, Harrisonburg Rescue Squad, and Rockingham Sheriff’s Office, but they also dispatch the police departments for the independent towns within the County, such as Broadway, Massanutten, and Bridgewater, and all the other localities. They even dispatch Bridgewater College’s police but James Madison University has their own communication center to handle their calls.
The first thing you will be asked if you call 911 for help is “Where is your emergency?” This is HUGELY important because if the line gets cut off for any reason, they at least know where to send help. If calling from a house phone, your location should show up on their screen, but they have to ask because, what if you had to run somewhere to get to a phone? Also, cell phones are more helpful than they used to be, but it is not an exact science yet. They can usually get your general location.
These people that answer the phone are trained extensively. Everything they ask you has a purpose, so don’t waste time questioning them on why they are asking you certain things. During a medical emergency they can talk you through CPR procedures while on the phone waiting for an EMT to arrive. They can also talk you through other types of first aid. The communicators save lives.