Good 9-1-1 Calls

These are calls from around the country which demonstrate what you can expect if you call 9-1-1, and what the types and variety of 9-1-1 Calls with which 9-1-1 Operators deal.

9-1-1 Call: Burglary Woman in House

November 2011, Colorado Springs, CO: A woman calls 9-1-1 as two men break into her house and she hides in the closet.

Note the time it takes for First Responders to arrive. Even under the best of conditions, it takes time for First Responders to arrive, and people need to take responsibility for managing their emergency. This may mean providing First Aid including CPR, evacuating their home or the area, or in this case hiding until First Responders arrive.

Notice how the 9-1-1 Operator remains calm throughout the incident. One of the causes of stress on 9-1-1 Operators is that they often do not know or learn of the outcome of a call they’ve handled, but in this case the call does not end until the incident is over.

9-1-1 Call: Amber Alert Victim Spotted

March 2012, Cleveland, OH: A woman calls 9-1-1 after spotting a suspect she had seen on TV report of an Amber Alert.

9-1-1 Call: Child Reports Burglary

March 2012, Harper Woods, MI: A ten-year old who is home alone with two younger siblings because of a half-day at school, calls 9-1-1 when a burglar tries to break in.

This call illustrates the importance of teaching children to call 9-1-1.

9-1-1 Call: Choking Child

July 2013, Farmington, UT: A 22-month old child chokes on a plastic toy. Her Mom calls 9-1-1, and the 9-1-1 Operator coaches her in providing CPR.

Notice how the 9-1-1 Operator remains calm throughout the call. The Mom is excited but remains fairly calm under the circumstances, and calm enough to follow the 9-1-1 Operator’s instructions. This is important due to the time it takes First Responders to arrive even under the best of circumstances. There is the time that passes before someone who can call 9-1-1 discovers the illness or injury, There is the time that passes between the time the illness or injury is discovered and someone can call 9-1-1. There is the time needed to communicate the location and nature of the emergency to the 9-1-1 Operator. And there is the time required for First Responders to reach the scene of the emergency. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking…brain cells can start dying after just 5 minutes without oxygen. After 6 minutes, brain damage is very likely. In the case of a heart attack, parts of the heart muscle that do not get oxygen can die and be permanently damaged.

For people who stop breathing or whose heart stops, the single most important factor in determining whether they survive is whether they receive CPR BEFORE First Responders arrive.

Not all 9-1-1 Call Centers provide EMD (diagnosis and First Aid instructions by telephone). You will not need instruction by the 9-1-1 Operator and you will be better at performing CPR if you’ve had CPR training and practiced on a CPR-dummy. The website provides a Stay Safe Guide with a directory of entities which provide CPR training in Colorado, and a Stay Safe Calendar with a schedule of CPR classes in Colorado.

9-1-1 Call: CPR Newborn

April 2013, McComb County, MI: A woman delivers her baby prematurely in her car along a rural road. Her husband flags down a passing motorist who is initially unsure of the emergency but calls 9-1-1. The 9-1-1 Operator advises him how to get the baby breathing.

It is important to know CPR, as the provision of CPR BEFORE First Responders arrive is the most critical factor in whether someone who isn’t breathing or whose heart has stopped will survive. Visit and see our Stay Safe Guide on CPR education in Colorado and or Stay Safe Calendar for information on CPR classes.

The newborn survived but was hospitalized due to being premature.

9-1-1 Call: Disoriented Woman in Manhole

August 2012, Palatine, IL: A woman falls into a manhole and is disoriented, She calls 9-1-1, and the 9-1-1 Operator struggles to determine the woman’s location, because she is disoriented from the fall.

9-1-1 Call: Drowning Baby CPR

July 2013, Palm Coast, FL: While Grandmom was distracted by other children and a telephone call for only a few minutes, her 2-year old grandaughter fell in the pool and drowned. Grandmom pulled her grandaughter from the pool and called 9-1-1. The dispatcher tried to calm Grandmom down and instruct her to provide CPR.

This call illustrates the importance of remaining calm when you call 9-1-1. Providing First Aid and CPR BEFORE First Responders arrive is critical to the survival of victims of illnesses or accidents. Find where you get First Aid and CPR Training at

If another person is available, it is a good idea to send them to flag down the First Responders and show them where the emergency is.

The 2-year old in this tape was revived and survived.

9-1-1 Call: Heart Attack CPR

September 2012, Washington County, OR: A woman calls 9-1-1 to report that her husband is having a heart attack. The 9-1-1 Operator provides instructions in CPR.

Brain cells can start dying after just 5 minutes without oxygen. After 6 minutes, brain damage is very likely. During a heart attack, heart muscle deprived of oxygen can die and leave the heart permanently damaged. Whether a person suffering a heart attack or who has stopped breathing receives CPR before First Responders arrive often determines whether they will live or die.

The man who suffered the heart attack survived.

9-1-1 Call: Rape Victim Rescue

May 2010, Saratoga Springs, UT: As a rape victim was being driven into the desert, she pretended to call her sister but instead called 9-1-1. The 9-1-1 Operator realized something was wrong, and stayed on the line with the woman while trying to determine the type of vehicle the woman was in, and it’s location and direction of travel so she could direct police units to the woman and her kidnapper’s location. This is an 18-minute recording with some portions of the conversation blanked out.

Note that the woman kept her head and found a way to get help, and gave herself a chance to survive.

9-1-1 Call: Runaway Car

October 2011, La Cañada, CA: A woman calls 9-1-1 when she is unable to stop her car.

9-1-1 Call: Two Planes Collide

March 2012, Longmont, CO: Two planes collide in mid-air. Multiple calls to 9-1-1 are received by people reporting the crash or the location of the two crash sites.