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911 Basics

Haldimand County Paramedic Services comprises dedicated professionals who work hard to guarantee emergency care for those in need.  We ask all residents to assist us by reviewing when it is appropriate to call 911.

What is 911

911 is a central dispatch for emergency services.  This service allows for all emergency services to be deployed to assure those first responders can deliver emergency services quickly and efficiently.

When to call 911

Knowing when to call 911 can be a difficult decision.  Assessing your situation will make sure that emergency services are available when needed.  Do not hesitate to contact them for immediate help if you are experiencing:

  • Medical emergencies, like chest pain or difficulty breathing,
  • A direct threat to life,
  • An uncontrolled or an uncontained fire.

What happens when you call 911

A 911 dispatcher will answer and ask if you need police, fire or ambulance.  Before calling, be sure to assess your situation to give the dispatcher a complete picture of the circumstances you are experiencing.  That way, they can arrange for the appropriate assistance.

With many people relying on mobile devices, you may need to provide exact location details.  Cell phones do not give the dispatcher’s precise address, and they will only see your general location.  Be prepared to give an address or an intersection.  Other critical information that may be necessary are:

  • Apartment number and entry code,
  • Landmarks,
  • Any obstacles that may prevent entry,
  • Language barriers that could require accommodation.

Be sure to stay on the line to let the 911 dispatcher will let you know when to hang up.

Questions to ask yourself:

Is a person hurt or in danger?

  • Do not hesitate to call 911 if there is difficulty breathing, uncontrolled bleeding, or chest pain.

Is there an emergency where a law enforcement officer, firefighter or medical help is needed?

  • If you are witnessing an assault, or think a driver is impaired, do not intervene and call 911 immediately.

Are there alternative numbers to call to help you assess your situation?

  • There are services available to assist you in determining your required level of care. Telehealth, which offers free medical advice over the phone, or 211 Ontario, a Community and Social Services helpline, can guide you.

Are you still unsure? 

  • Go ahead and call 911.  The call taker will then determine if emergency assistance is needed.


Telehealth Ontario:

Toll-free: 1-866-797-0000

Toll-free TTY:1-866-797-0007

211 Ontario:

Call: 2-1-1

Toll-free: 1-877-330-3213

TTY: 1-844-483-9835

Call 1-(888)-310-1122

File a report online on the O.P.P. website

A Decision Tree Chart for calling 911