9-1-1 Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS 9-1-1?

9-1-1 is the universal emergency telephone number designed to give citizens an easy to remember number when they need the assistance of the Police, Fire or Ambulance (EMS) Services in an emergency.

DOES PUTNAM COUNTY HAVE 9-1-1?

Yes. As of September 1998, all hardwire (landline) 911 calls have been answered in an emergency in Putnam County.

As of October 2006, all Cell phone 911 calls are also being answered in Putnam County.

HOW DO I USE 9-1-1?

When you have an emergency dial 9-1-1 and tell the call taker WHERE and WHAT your emergency is.

Remember to remain calm and listen to the call taker’s instructions.

WHEN SHOULD I DIAL 9-1-1?

You should only dial 9-1-1 in an “Emergency” A good rule to remember is dial 9-I-I to:

  • SAVE A LIFE
  • PREVENT A CRIME
  • REPORT A FIRE

WHO DO I CALL FOR NON-EMERGENCIES?

For non emergencies use your local police department’s administrative line.

Putnam County Sheriff’s Department: 225-4300
Carmel Police: 628-1300
Cold Spring Police: 265-3407
Kent Police: 225-4600
New York State Police: 279-6161

DO I USE 9-1-1 TO REPORT A CAR ALARM GOING OFF IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT?

No. You should use your Police Department’s regular seven digit number for such non -emergencies. 9-1-1 is not to be used for snow plowing, weather reports, traffic information, directions, or similar non-emergencies.

WHO ANSWERS MY 9-1-I CALL?

Your 9-1-I call is answered by a trained professional dispatchers located at the Bureau’s Operations Center - Communications Division, a.k.a. “Public Safety Answering Point” (PSAP).

WHAT IF I AM DISCONNECTED OR CANNOT SPEAK TO THE CALL TAKER?

The 9-1-1 Center will call you back and if there is no answer they will dispatch a police vehicle to your location to make sure everything is okay.

HOW DOES 9-1-1 KNOW WHERE I AM?

9-1-1 is a telephone based service. Therefore, when your telephone company connected your telephone they obtained your name and address information. This information is provided to 9-1-1 for official use only.

WHAT IF I AM UNABLE TO TELL THE CALL TAKER WHERE I AM?

The enhanced 9-1-1 system will automatically provide the call taker with your name, telephone number, address, and Emergency Service Providers for your location.

Dispatchers also verify this information - to ensure that they are sending help to the correct location.

DO I HAVE TO DIAL “E-9-1-1”?

No. The “E” stands for Enhanced and is used only to distinguish it from other 9-1-1 systems. Just dial the numbers 9-1-1 and you will be connected to the 9-1-1 Center.

CAN I CALL 9-1-1 FROM A PAY PHONE?

Yes. When you call 9-1-1 from a pay phone the call is “free” no change is required. Simply pick up the phone and dial 9-1-1 and wait for the call taker to answer your call. You must stay on the line to assist the call taker in responding to your location.

CAN I USE MY CELLULAR PHONE TO CALL 9-1-1?

Yes. Calls made from personal cellular phones are also free. Trained Putnam County Emergency Service Dispatchers will answer your call - therefore, just like calling from a pay phone, it is important that you remain on the phone line to assist the call taker in finding your exact location.

WHAT IF I HAVE CALL BLOCKING OR AN UNLISTED TELEPHONE NUMBER?

Since 9-1-1 is an emergency only system, these telephone features will be overridden in the interest of public safety.

WHAT IF I DIAL 9-1-1 AND CANNOT SPEAK?

If for any reason you are unable to speak to the call taker, the 9-1-1 Center will automatically dispatch a patrol car to your location. If a foreign language is spoken the dispatcher will connect up with an interpreter and communicate with the caller to send the appropriate emergency service.

HOW CAN I ASSIST THE EMERGENCY SERVICES IN FINDING MY ADDRESS?

You must conspicuously post your house or building address number in a location visible from the street. Numbers should be at least 4 inches high and posted on both sides of the mailbox, gate post, fence or other clearly visible location and at the entrance to the house or building. If possible the numbers should be made of a reflective material for nighttime visibility.

CAN THE DEAF & HEARING OR SPEECH IMPAIRED USE 9-1-1?

Yes. The 9-1-1 Center is equipped with a “Telecommunications Device for the Deaf’ (TDDI TTY). Simply dial 9-1-1 and then press the TTY Announcement Key (space bar) to connect to the system. The 911 center is also equipped with this equipment.

WHAT IF I CANNOT PRESS THE SPACEBAR?

The 9-1-1 Center will attempt to connect to your Try and if they cannot, they will dispatch a police vehicle to your location.

CAN I USE 9-1-1 IF I DO NOT SPEAK ENGLISH?

Yes. The 9-1-1 Center (PSAP) has the ability to use an Interpreter Service. The only things you need to remember is dial 9-1-1 and tell the call taker the language you desire - and hang on for the service and communications.

WHAT IF I AM RENTING AND DO NOT KNOW MY CORRECT ADDRESS?

You should contact the property owner or landlord. They have been notified of your correct address.

CAN I DIAL 9-1-1 TO CHECK MY ADDRESS?

No. Only dial 9-1-1 in an emergency. Contact the Office of Emergency Management (808-4000) if you have questions pertaining to your address or the 9-1-1 system.

WHAT IF I MOVE OR HAVE AN ADDRESS CHANGE?

You must contact Verizon (or your phone carrier) and give them your new address so that they may correctly update the 9-1-1 address database.

Residential Subscribers Call: 890-2550
Business Subscribers Call: 890-1598

Also, contact your local Post Office and complete the necessary address change form.

WHAT CAN I DO TO ASSIST THE CALL TAKER?

Remain calm, speak clearly, answer the call taker’s questions and follow directions. Remember: You may need to stay on the line to assist the call taker in responding to your location.