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Calling 911


What Should You Expect When You Dial 9-1-1?


The Grayslake Fire Protection District is dispatched through FoxComm E9-1-1 located in Fox Lake, IL. The Communications Center is staffed 24 hours a day 7 days a week with dedicated staff who provide emergency call handling.  Your call will be answered by a trained Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD). Each EMD has completed a complex training program including a classroom training course instructed by the National Academy of Emergency Dispatchers and must complete continuing education as required by the Illinois Department of Public Health. 


- “9-1-1, what is the address of your emergency?”

The most important information is your address. Without it, we have nowhere to send help. We answer many 9-1-1 calls and understand that it can be a very emotional experience for you. Please remember to take a breath and stay focused. Speak slowly, clearly and try not to yell. The Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD) will also ask you to repeat your address to verify that we are sending help to the correct location.


- “Ok, tell me exactly what happened.”

Next, you will need to tell us the immediate reason you’re requesting help. Once this information is obtained, the correct emergency apparatus will be started to your location.


- “What’s the phone number you’re calling from?”

We will ask you to tell us your phone number in case the call gets disconnected.



- “Are you with the patient now?”

If it is safe to do so, try to stay with the patient. The questions that we ask are specific to the patient’s current condition. When you are the patient calling 9-1-1 and someone is there with you, hand the phone to him or her if it will make you more comfortable until help arrives.


- “How old is the patient?”

The age of the patient is necessary for treatment. The responding units will have this information and it will prepare them while they are on their way to help. If you don’t know the patient’s age we will ask for an approximate age.


- “Is he/she awake? - “Is he/she breathing?

The patient’s age, status of consciousness, and status of breathing are considered the vital signs to an Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD). The answer to these questions will determine the level of instructions given to you from the EMD until help arrives. When a situation exists where you may need to assist in life saving techniques, try to stay calm and listen to the EMD. We will walk you through the instructions step-by-step.


Questions can be overwhelming to you and seconds may seem like minutes when an emergency exists. Remember, help is being sent at the time you give us the immediate reason of your emergency. The rest of the information we obtain through questioning you is sent to the responders while they are already on their way.


9-1-1 Do’s and Don'ts


-          If you accidentally call 9-1-1, stay on the phone and explain to the 9-1-1 Telecommunicator that you misdialed.

-          Stay calm and speak clearly

-          Do not call 9-1-1 for jokes or prank calls. The Illinois law effective January 1, 2010 states, “it is a felony that could result in three years in prison and a $25,000 fine” for any person charged with the misuse of 9-1-1.

-          Stay on the phone until you are told to hang up. FoxComm provides medical pre-arrival instructions to assist you in helping the person in need. Stay on the phone until instructed to hang up by the Telecommunicator assisting you.

-          9-1-1 is available from any charged cell phone, whether it has active service or not. This can be very useful during an emergency. However, do not allow children to play with any cell phone that still has a battery in it. Deactivated cell phones can still dial 9-1-1.