Texting & Calling 911
Address Information Form
Do you have information about your address that would be helpful for first responders? Is there a garage code that could get the ambulance in the house if you are unable to unlock your door? Do you have cameras that we could access if a crime was committed on your block? This completely optional form helps us gather this information to communicate it to our responders should we ever need it. This form is completely optional and you may fill out as much or as little information as you wish. All information is for public safety information only and is completely confidential.
Text to 911
Des Moines County is now text to 911 capable. Although our center can receive text to 911 messages, not all carriers support this yet. We at DESCOM would like to stress even where text-to-911 is available, if you are able to make a voice call to 911, and if it is safe to do so, you should always make a voice call to 911 instead. Text to 911, while extremely valuable in situations where voice is dangerous or not possible, is time consuming and may delay care as questions are asked one at a time.
When to Call 911
Emergency Assistance is Not Available Through the Website
In an emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately from any wired or wireless phone.
An emergency is any situation that requires immediate assistance from the police, fire department or ambulance. Examples include:
- A fire
- A crime, especially if in progress
- A car crash, especially if someone is injured
- A medical emergency, such as someone who is unconscious, gasping for air or not breathing, experiencing an allergic reaction, having chest pain, having uncontrollable bleeding, or any other symptoms that require immediate medical attention
Important: If you’re not sure whether the situation is a true emergency, officials recommend calling 911 and letting the call-taker determine whether you need emergency help.
When you call 911, be prepared to answer the call-taker’s questions, which may include:
- The location of the emergency, including the street address
- The phone number you are calling from
- The nature of the emergency
- Details about the emergency, such as a physical description of a person who may have committed a crime, a description of any fire that may be burning, or a description of injuries or symptoms being experienced by a person having a medical emergency
- The call-taker’s questions are important to get the right kind of help to you quickly.
- Be prepared to follow any instructions the call-taker gives you. Many 911 centers can tell you exactly what to do to help in an emergency until help arrives, such as providing step-by-step instructions to aid someone who is choking or needs first aid or CPR.
- Finally, do not hang up until the call-taker instructs you to.
If you dial 911 by mistake, or if a child in your home dials 911 when no emergency exists, do not hang up—that could make 911 officials think that an emergency exists, and possibly send responders to your location. Instead, simply explain to the call-taker what happened.