How does 911 work?

When a person calls 911 for help, the call is routed through the E911 headquarters in Providence. The call is answered "police, fire or rescue." The operator confirms the location of the emergency and stays on the line while the call is transferred to the appropriate emergency service. Rhode Island uses an enhanced 911 (E911) system which offers additional benefits. The call is automatically tracked, with the name and address of the caller appearing on the computer screen in 911 Headquarters. The operator is able to summon assistance to the calling address, even if the caller hangs up the telephone without saying anything. For a hang-up, the operator will make a confirmation call to the calling party while transferring the call to the appropriate police department. 

There are two things that you can do to make this system work properly. First, be sure that you are using the correct house number. This can be verified by calling the North Kingstown 911 Coordinator (Tax Assessor) at 401-294-3331. Second, it is critical that your correct 911 address be clearly visible from the street so that emergency responders can locate your address quickly. If you post the number on your mailbox, be sure that it appears on both sides. Use contrasting colors to improve visibility of your numbers. Avoid the use of script numerals.

Show All Answers

1. Can I listen to the Fire Department on my scanner?
2. Do I need a burning permit?
3. Do I need a fire inspection?
4. How can I report a fire or emergency?
5. How can I request a fire safety presentation?
6. How do I get to the Fire Department administrative offices?
7. How does 911 work?
8. How many smoke detectors do I need in my house?
9. Should I have a carbon monoxide detector?
10. Should I report a small fire, even if it's already out?
11. What are the statistics with children and fires?
12. What is the ISO rating for the Town of North Kingstown?
13. What kind of fire extinguisher should I buy?