Bates County Sheriff's Office
Phone: 660-679-3232
Jail: 660-679-5880

Fax: 660-679-4147

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When Not To Call 911

Examples of when NOT to call 911

  • When you need a phone number or address
    • If you need a phone number or address, consult a phone book or call directory assistance - 411, NOT 911. Any time a caller feels his or her life is in danger, he or she should call 911 - otherwise, use a non emergency number.
  • To Ask the Police-Fire-Ambulance Agency a Question
    • If a caller is not in need of immediate emergency assistance, 911 is not the number to call. When calling to ask a question and not to request immediate assistance, call the department's non-emergency number.
  • To Get a Cat Out of a Tree

Calling for help with animals in distress is perfectly fine - just don't call 911. Only call 911 if the animal is endangering human life. Calls to request assistance for animals that are lost or in distress should go to the department's non-emergency number.

How To Be A Good 911 Caller

STAY CALM! It's important to take a deep breath and not get excited. Any situation that requires 911 is, by definition, an emergency. The dispatcher knows that and will try to move things along quickly, but under control.

Know the location of the emergency and the number you are calling from. This may be asked and answered a couple of times but don't get frustrated. The phone number you are calling from and exact directions are essential! Learn and know your county road number and the nearest crossroad. Give a detailed description of your home/property. (Keep these directions/details posted near every phone in your home) If for some reason you are disconnected, at least emergency crews will know where to go and how to call you back.

As the call progresses, you may hear clicking - do not hang up!

Let the dispatcher guide the conversation. Answer the dispatchers questions calmly and clearly so that they can provide the information needed to help emergency services respond as quickly as possible. He or she is typing the information into a computer and it may seem to be taking forever. It is likely, however, that emergency services are already being sent while you are still on the line.

Follow all instructions. In some cases, the dispatcher will give you instructions. Listen carefully, follow each step exactly, and ask for clarification if you don't understand.

Be alert and keep your eyes open. You may be asked to describe victims, suspects, vehicles, or other parts of the scene.
Do not hang up until directed to do so by the dispatcher.

Bates County Sheriff's Office © 20166 West Fort Scott Street Butler, MO 64730 | 660-679-3232 | Fax 660-679-4147