Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Dane County 911

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I call 9-1-1?

9-1-1 is for emergency use only. An emergency is any serious medical issue, an in-progress crime, fires, or any other life-threatening situation. If you are reporting a non-emergency, call 608-255-2345.

When in doubt, call 9-1-1.

Do not hang up. Even if you try to hang-up, the call will still be routed to the communications center. Instead, stay on the line and explain that you dialed by mistake. If you hang-up, the call-taker needs to call you back to confirm that there is no emergency. Additionally - if we cannot confirm that everything is okay - law enforcement personnel will be sent to the area, potentially taking resources away from real emergencies.

If calling on a cell phone, our center receives an approximate location of the call. It is our policy to verify the address of every call to ensure help is being sent to the correct location. If you do not know the address, look for landmarks, street signs, or nearby businesses.

Answering the call-taker’s questions provides responders with the information they need to prepare to assist you while they are driving. The call-taker’s partner – the dispatcher – is relaying the information you provide to responders.

Dane County 9-1-1 is capable of receiving text messages, but this should be a last resort. It is much quicker and easier to convey information by speaking on the phone rather than texting. 

Learn more about the position here.