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911: Call if you can, text if you can't

Non-Emergency /
file a Police Report:
804-646-5100

Business Phone:
804-646-5911

Email us: 911rva@richmondgov.com

 

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911: Call if you can, text if you can't

hand holding phone

When calling 911

Do:

  • Call 911 only during a real emergency, such as someone is hurt, property is being damaged or a crime is being committed. Who to call for other types of help in Richmond.
  • Call 911 first before making any other call.
  • Stay on the line until your call is answered, even if you dial 911 by mistake.
  • Speak clearly and calmly.
  • Tell the operator the location of the emergency, including the address and any landmarks you can see.
  • Answer all of the operator’s questions to the best of your ability. Responders may be already on the way, so the information you provide helps them prepare for arrival.
  • Stay on the line until help arrives or the operator tells you it’s OK to hang up.
  • Teach children and those with disabilities how to call 911 for help. Resources are available
    here. 

Do Not:

  • Do not allow children to play with old cell phones, which may be able to dial 911.
  • Do not hang up once 911 has been dialed. You can explain to the operator if the call was made by mistake. Wait until the operator advises you to hang up.
  • Do not assume the operator knows your location.
  • Do not hang up until you are advised to do so.

 

When texting 911

Do:

  • Call if you can, text if you can’t.
  • Send a text message to 911 if you are deaf or hard-of-hearing, can’t speak, or it is not safe for you to speak.
  • Provide the exact location of the emergency in the text message.
  • If you do not receive a reply by text or if you receive a reply that texting is not available, call 911.

Do Not:

  • Do not text and drive.
  • Do not send photos or videos to 911 at this time.
  • Do not copy others on the message to 911. Text-to-911 cannot include more than one person.

More information on text-to-911