About 9-1-1 ACOG
9-1-1 is the most recognized phone number in America. These three numbers link callers in Central Oklahoma to fire and police protection and emergency medical services. With skilled call-takers using continually advancing network and computer technology, 9-1-1 can help responders get to you when you need them the most.
ACOG was instrumental in developing and implementing the enhanced 9-1-1 emergency telephone number and system in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. System financing was provided by a vote of the area’s citizens in the spring of 1987, followed by the system coming “on-line” May 1, 1989.
The highly advanced system incorporates regional sites where calls are answered, and covers a wide area of communities and counties and an Air Force base in the Central Oklahoma region. The 9-1-1 Association of Central Oklahoma Governments (9-1-1 ACOG), an operational arm of ACOG, was formed to implement and manage the system for suburban communities. In addition, a 9-1-1 Technical Committee involving representatives of the public safety agencies in the system was created to facilitate exchange of information, concerns and improvements in the system’s efficiency.
In 1994, ACOG established the 9-1-1 ACOG Call-Taker Institute to offer Central Oklahoma emergency call-takers a top quality, affordable and nationally accredited alternative to expensive out-of-state training. The Institute, relies upon the expertise of local call-takers who are certified to train others in basic telecommunications. ACOG also monitors phone company activity in the region and offers assistance with rural addressing.
In 2005, a regional movement was enacted to address the system's capacity to receive calls from mobile phones with the number and location information necessary to dispatch emergency services. A regional election was held in December 2005, and voters in all counties in Central Oklahoma voted yes for approval of a monthly service fee to finance the system. Since then, the system has been built out and awaits future developments as technology evolves.
Frequently Asked Questions About 9-1-1 in Central Oklahoma
Q: When should I call 9-1-1?
A: 9-1-1 is reserved for emergency situations only. Callers should use sound judgment when trying to determine the difference between an “emergency” and a “non-emergency.” An emergency is a police, fire or medical situation where seconds can make a difference in saving a life or property. A person should never call 9-1-1 to ask for directions, to report a lost pet or complain about a noisy neighbor. People who call 9-1-1 as a joke or a nuisance can be subject to fines and legal action.
Q: What are some of the things that I should know before I call 9-1-1?
A: In order to dispatch proper services in an emergency situation, the call-taker may ask several questions. The caller must be ready to respond. Call-takers are trained to verify your address and telephone number to ensure that the 9-1-1 information is correct. When calling 9-1-1, always make sure that you are out of danger. If your house is on fire, call 9-1-1 from a neighbor’s phone or use your cell phone after leaving the building. Stay calm and talk clearly to describe the situation. Stay on the line until the call-taker tells you to hang up the phone.
Q: Can I call 9-1-1 on my wireless phone?
A: Of course. In fact, Central Oklahoma’s 9-1-1 system is continually evolving to keep up with technology by providing better location information from calls coming from cell phones. In most cases, calls from wireless phones come into the region’s 9-1-1 call centers with a latitude and longitude, which plots the location of the caller on an aerial photograph/map. This information can make the difference in a critical situation, particularly when the caller cannot articulate his or her location for whatever reason (medical inability to speak, unaware of location, hostage situations, etc.). Technologies are not the same everywhere, however, so it is important to be aware of your surroundings and be prepared to tell a 9-1-1 call taker where you are calling from, even if you can only identify landmarks or street names.
Q: Will 9-1-1 work on deactivated cell phones?
A: Yes. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has ruled that all cell phones, even those that do not have an active subscription plan, can call 9-1-1. Because of this, it is very important that parents make sure that their children are not given retired cell phones as toys, because they can accidently call 9-1-1, creating unnecessary use of resources used to determine the situation and respond to the false emergency.
Q: Can I send a text message to 9-1-1?
A: No, not at the current time. Present the 9-1-1 system in Central Oklahoma is based on traditional telephone technology that does not allow receipt of text messages, but there are efforts nationally to develop protocols for Next Generation 9-1-1 systems that will be able to receive texts, video, and other forms of media.Q: I just signed up with a new phone company. Can I still call 9-1-1?
A: Yes, but you may want to check with your new company to make sure that they have all of your correct information in the 9-1-1 database. Phone companies provide that information to the 9-1-1 database, which allows dispatchers to know where you live. Call your phone company to verify your records.Q: Can people who are deaf use a text telephone to call 9-1-1?
A: Yes. 9-1-1 is accessible through text telephones (also known as TTYs and TDDs) for people who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability.Q: My mother has mobility limitations and may need special help in an emergency. How can I provide this information to 9-1-1 before an emergency occurs?
A: Call the non-emergency phone number for police, fire or ambulance services in your community and tell the operator that you have special information about your household. They may be able to add the information to their computer records for future reference if it is ever needed. If this information changes, please notify your local community.Q: Does a person need to speak English when calling 9-1-1?
A: No. 9-1-1 is available in many languages. Most communities in the Central Oklahoma 9-1-1 system subscribe to a language translation service that uses a network of interpreters. When a call-taker learns that a caller can’t speak English, the call is relayed so an interpreter can provide communication between the caller and the call-taker.Q: I just moved and need to know if 9-1-1 is available where I live. How do I find out?
A: 9-1-1 is available in the Central Oklahoma region, which includes cities, towns and communities in Oklahoma, Canadian, Cleveland and Logan counties, and parts of Grady and McClain counties. You can check the front of the telephone directory or call your local community to confirm your 9-1-1 service and to assure that your address is correct.