Calling 9-1-1

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

FoxComm E-911 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 from Fox Lake, Grayslake, Lake Villa, Lindenhurst and the surrounding areas, 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.

Recall Events

“Okay, 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.

Know Your Phone Number

“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. At this point in your questioning we have already sent help so no response is being delayed by answering these questions, instead you are providing us information to pass on to the responders.

“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.

Know His / Her Age

“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.

Know His / Her Status

“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.

Educational Video for 9-1-1 safety, featuring Cell Phone Sally and friends.