On the road this long weekend? Know your location when calling 9-1-1

In order to receive the emergency services you need, knowing your location is critical. In fact, it will be the first question police, fire or ambulance call takers will ask when you call 9-1-1.

Knowing your exact location is always important no matter which phone you use to call 9-1-1. But, if you are using a cellphone or internet phone, it’s paramount. In Canada, the only phones that provide exact address/location information to 9-1-1 centres are landlines (the wired phones found in homes and businesses).  Cellphones provide only general location information and Internet phones provide no location information.

  • Know your location at all times and communicate it when you are asked
  • You should know what city you are in, building or home addresses, cross streets, and any other information that will help emergency personnel find you
  • Learn your compass directions (north, south, east, west)

Important information from Search & Rescue: Never wait to call 9-1-1 if you are lost outdoors. Even though you may not feel an urgent threat to your health or safety, it is best to make the call immediately rather than trying to find your way back. Once you’ve made this call, follow the instructions of the 9-1-1 call taker and/or search and rescue official. This may include being instructed to conserve your cellphone’s battery power by not making any other calls and establishing set times for further communication with emergency responders.