Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Dane County 911
  • When should I call 9-1-1?

    You should call 9-1-1 any time you believe an ambulance, fire truck, or law enforcement needs to respond immediately to a situation. If you are not sure you should call 9-1-1 to report something, call 9-1-1 and speak with one of our specially trained Communicators who can help in determining what type of assistance to send.

  • Will callers dialing 9-1-1 reach a recording?

    Public Safety Communications (PSC) answers more than 150,000 9-1-1 calls in an average year. On a typical day, more than 97% of these calls are answered within 10 seconds. 

  • However, a single incident, such as a rush-hour car fire or a meteor sighting, may generate a higher volume of 9-1-1 calls that are not able to be answered as quickly by on-duty staff.

  • In an effort to enhance our excellent customer service while meeting national standards, after three rings, callers will hear a message (English, Spanish, and TTY) indicating they have dialed 9-1-1 correctly and will be connected to a Communicator as soon as possible. 

  • The objective of this message is to reduce the likelihood of a caller hanging up and re-dialing 9-1-1, which could further delay a public safety response. If a caller has hung up and called again, they could be talking with a Communicator while another Communicator is simultaneously trying to call them back, wasting valuable time.

  • Are all 9-1-1 calls in Dane County answered by Dane County PSC?

    No. Depending on their location, 9-1-1 callers in Dane County may reach any of five Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs).

  • Those PSAPs are:

  • Dane County Public Safety Communications
  • Green County Sheriff
  • Middleton Police
  • Sauk County Sheriff
  • UW-Madison Police

How can I help the 9-1-1 call-taker?

  • Answer all the questions asked by the call-taker.
  • Listen to all instructions provided to you by the call-taker.
  • Speak clearly so we can understand what you are telling us.
  • Remain calm. This is difficult to do at times, we understand. But by remaining calm, you will help the call-taker gather valuable information needed by first responders.

Why does the 9-1-1 call-taker ask so many questions?

Our Communicators answer 9-1-1 calls with the question "9-1-1, what's the address of the emergency?" This is the most critical piece of information we can gather. If we do not have the location of the problem, how can we send help? 

Other questions are asked as appropriate or dictated by Emergency Medical, Fire, or Police Protocols. All questions asked by the call-taker are important and are asked in such a way to gather the most appropriate information in the shortest amount of time. During emergency situations, help is usually on the way while the call-taker continues to gather more information from you.

Still have questions? Visit our contact page to reach out.