Calling 911 | When To Call, What To Expect And Tips

Share & Bookmark, Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option


Vail's 911 emergency system makes an important difference in the community. 

Dialing 911 is the fastest, easiest way to communicate with local fire, police and medical services during an emergency.  You need to stay CALM. It's easier to obtain vital information if you are calm and listening to the questions asked....take a deep breath.


The call will start with three easy Questions:

  1. What is the address of the emergency?
  2. What is the telephone number you are calling from?
  3. Tell me exactly what happened.

If you are calling in a medical emergency, the call taker will ask you very specific questions, these questions are scripted in our EMD protocols and provide specific information to the call taker and the responding units.  Try very hard to answer the questions, but if you don’t know the answers, just say that you don’t know.

If you are calling to report a fire, make sure that you are in a safe place.  The call taker will lead you to answer important questions.  They will want to know what is burning, are life or property threatened, the color of smoke, the best access to the fire, are there hazardous materials involved?

If you are calling to report a crime, provide as much information that you can to the dispatcher, including: what happened and when, as much description of any suspects that you can remember, including direction of travel, mode of travel (whether on foot or vehicle), vehicle information, including color and make of car, license plate information, bumper stickers, ski racks etc.

The more information you are able to give dispatchers, the better they will be able to serve you. Always hang up last. Make sure the dispatcher has all the needed information.

911 TIPS:

  • Do not program 911 into your speed dial. Speed dials can malfunction and invite accidental dialing of the number.
  • It's a good idea to have your home address and phone number displayed on all your phones. This can help young children and visitors to give accurate information in the case of an emergency.
  • If you dialed 911 in error, do not hang up, stay on the line and explain to the dispatcher that you dialed 911 by mistake. If you hang up, we will have to call you back.
  • Call 970-479-2201 for all non-emergency needs.
  • Disabled Cell phones can still call 911, if you are keeping your cell phone but have disconnected it's service, please take out the battery and keep it away from children.


9-1-1 is for emergencies, potential emergencies, or when an emergency is about to happen, such as when you need the police, fire department or an ambulance right away. If you are ever in doubt of whether a situation is an emergency you should call 9-1-1. It's better to be safe and let the 9-1-1 call taker determine if you need emergency assistance.