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FAQ’s

When do I call 911?

A person should call 911 only during an emergency in progress.

What is considered an emergency?

When someone’s life or property are in immediate danger.

Why do I have to stay on the phone?

You are our eyes and ears for the situation. If there are any changes to what is happening we will need updates from you so we can share this with the responders. If it is a medical emergency we may give you some instructions on how to help the victim.  Staying on the phone does not delay the response of police, fire or EMS.

I dialed 911 and it wasn’t an emergency, now what?

Stay calm and do not hang up. Stay on the line until a dispatcher answers and explain what is going on. It is our policy to send an officer to verify there is no emergency. If you do hang up we will call you back. If a call back is not answered we will also send a text message.

Can I text 911?

Text to 911 is currently available in McDonough and Schuyler counties. A voice call is always preferred over a text conversation. If text to 911 is not available in your area you will receive a message telling you to place a voice call. Do not text and drive.

Can you locate me on the map?

Not always. Location information and accuracy depends on many varying factors including the device technology, cell tower location, service provider, third party vendors, etc. Always know your location before calling 911 or be prepared to give a detailed description of what your surroundings are so the dispatcher can narrow down your location.

Can I call 911 from a deactivated phone?

Yes. The call will be delivered to the communications center, but no other data will be included. Be prepared to give the dispatcher your exact location. Do not hang up until the dispatcher tells you to as there is no way for them to call you back.

Can you send someone to unlock my car when I lock my keys inside?

Some of the departments we serve carry unlock tool kits in their squad cars and provide this service when available.  If not available, you will be directed to the closest lock shop.

I am building a new structure and need a new address, how do I get one?

If the structure is located with the corporate limits of a city/town/village then you must contact the Clerk’s Office for the respective city/town/village. If the structure will be located in an unincorporated area of McDonough County contact the Communications Center (309-833-1911) during business hours to request a new address. If the structure will be located in an unincorporated area of Schuyler County contact the Assessor’s Office (217-322-4432) during business hours to request a new address.

How is a 911 address assigned?

A 911 address is assigned based on where the driveway used to access your parcel meets the public road.

Do I have to post my address?

Yes. Each county has its own ordinance requirements for the posting of addresses. If your address is not clearly posted where your driveway meets the road this will delay the arrival of responders. Make sure the address is clearly visible at night.

Why are sirens going off?

Warning sirens are activated when a tornado warning is issued by the National Weather Service or a tornado/funnel cloud is reported by a trained spotter. Warning sirens are also activated when a severe thunderstorm warning is issued by the National Weather Service that includes 70 mph winds or greater and/or golf ball sized hail or larger. Sirens are also tested the first Tuesday of every month at 10:00 am weather permitting.  As a reminder, when the sirens sound, do not call 911. Tune into your local TV station, radio station or weather radio for additional information.

I am a business owner and want to share my contact information should something happen at my location after hours. Who do I call?

After hours contact information can be reported by contacting the Communication Center administration office during regular business hours at 309-833-1911. We can accept up to three contacts and any special notes you may have about your location. Ex – hazardous materials on site, alarm company information, landlord information, etc.

I have a medical disability that I want first responders to be aware of. How do I share this information?

This information may be shared by contacting the Communication Center administration office during regular business hours at 309-833-1911. Staff flag your name and address in our system in compliance with the Illinois Premise Alert Program Act (430 ILCS 132/).

I need to schedule an ambulance transport. How do I do this?

Call Lifeguard Ambulance Service at 309-575-3911 and ask to schedule a transport.