It is not often that most citizens need to call the Payette County Sheriff’s Office and when they do, sometimes they wonder how they should contact us. We have three ways to call us. During an emergency you can call 911, or during an emergency you could text 911. At all other times you should call our non-emergency phone number, (208) 642-6006 ext. 1175.
This seems really simple at its onset, but I know that people wonder if their situation is what we would classify as an emergency for the purpose of using 911. We often get calls on an administrative line that should have been on a 911 line. We also get some calls on the 911 lines that should have been on an administrative line. The 911 phone system is designed to help streamline the process of getting help dispatched to your location as quickly and efficiently as possible. With that in mind it should be used when an emergency is occurring. This could be when you, a relative or a stranger needs an ambulance. In medical emergencies minutes can be very crucial in saving someone’s life. It should also be used when you see a wildland fire, or field fire that appears to be out of control. When you witness a structure fire, 911 is the best way to call for help. There are numerous reasons to use 911 as it relates to law enforcement. The question to ask yourself is do you or someone else need immediate help, is it a life or death situation, or can this wait a few minutes longer before you talk to a Deputy. Common 911 calls for law enforcement includes fights, domestic violence, unwanted subjects, vehicle collisions, prowlers, etc. These are all situations where someone’s safety might be in immediate danger. For all other situations, call our non-emergency phone number.
The next thing to think about is should I call 911 or text 911 and which one is better. Calling 911 with a voice call is the absolute best way to contact the Payette County Sheriff’s Office during an emergency. We are able to get information from you at a much quicker pace. We have numerous questions that are specifically designed to help us efficiently gather enough information to get resources to you at the quickest time possible. In addition to asking you questions, we have the opportunity to listen to your environment. Dispatch can hear things that are going on in the environment and directly give that information to the responding units. During a text 911 we do not have the chance to hear what is going on. We have some questions pre-typed, but it will take longer to get information transmitted back and forth while we are both typing our responses to each other. The location data is not as accurate with a text 911, as opposed to a voice 911 call.
I know that some people may be asking why you would ever want to text 911 if it is so inefficient. We have some citizens who live in our community that have limitations in hearing and speech. By having this service available, we give those individuals the opportunity to still contact 911 with devices that they have and use on a daily basis. There are times that a person may be involved in an accident that can leave them with temporary or permanent hearing or voice loss. Text to 911 will be the best way for them to contact 911. The third situation where texting 911 would be the best option is in any situation where you are afraid that if you were to make a sound, your safety would be in danger. There are times when you might have an intruder in your house and you could be hiding somewhere trying to get help, but not wanting to make any sound. Turn the sound off on your phone and text 911. We will always ask if you can call 911 instead of texting. Please reply with no, it would not be safe for me to call.
When you call or text 911, be ready to give us the following information:
Your Full Name
Your Phone Number
The address where the emergency is
What the emergency is
What kind of services you need
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