Identifying an Emergency
Should I Call the Emergency Number?
An emergency requires an immediate police, fire, medical or combined response, including:
- An assault or the immediate danger of assault.
- A fight.
- Medical emergencies, such as diabetic issues, heart problems, choking, trouble breathing or other life-threatening issues.
- Loss of consciousness.
- A person or persons with weapons.
- Any crime in progress.
- A person threatening suicide.
- A fire.
- A gas leak.
- Other potentially life-threatening issues.
What I Should Know in an Emergency?
If you have an emergency and have to call the emergency number or come to the Public Safety Headquarters, please remember our dispatchers are not sworn officers. They are civilian employees of the department. Dispatchers cannot take reports and they need to know certain information to properly process your calls. Here are some tips to keep in mind during an emergency:
- If you're filing a report, you have to speak with an officer. Dispatchers cannot take reports.
- Dispatchers will ask for your name, address, call-back number and a description of the incident you're reporting.
- Stay on the line until the dispatcher has the information they need to process your call.
- If you can't stay on the line, tell the dispatcher immediately. The dispatcher will get the most vital information first. Tell the dispatcher what happened or is happening and identify the location of the incident.
- Try to remain calm. The dispatchers can only work with the information you give them.
- If you mistakenly call the emergency line or hit the button on a blue light phone, let the dispatcher know. Otherwise, an officer that could be needed elsewhere will have to check to see that there is no emergency.
- If you are put on hold, please understand the dispatcher has multiple calls and might have a higher priority call on another line. The dispatcher may also need the assistance of a supervisor on your call. If you get disconnected, please call back.
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Scranton, PA 18510-4699
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