News | May 11, 2016

Understand 9-11 call processes, procedures helps emergencies

By DLA Installation Support at Richmond, Fire & Emergency Services, Fire Prevention Office DLA Aviation Public Affairs

The month of May is recognized as 9-1-1 Awareness Month at Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia. This is the month that Defense Logistics Agency Installation Support at Richmond’s Fire and Emergency Services, as well as the alliance of police, emergency management, anti-terrorism, and other DLA public safety resources reach out to the DLA community on the installation to ensure employees and the public are ready to access our help during emergencies.

What is 9-1-1? The three digit phone number “9-1-1” is designated as the universal emergency number for the United States.  It is intended to allow for fast and easy access to police, fire and EMS in the event of an emergency.

According to the National 9-1-1 Education Coalition, the Federal Trade Commission met with the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) in 1967 to find a means of establishing a universal emergency number that could be implemented quickly.  In 1968, AT&T announced that it would establish the digits 9-1-1 as the emergency code throughout the United States.   

The coalition states on their website, that the code 9-1-1 was chosen because it met public requirements, it was brief, it was easily remembered, and it could be dialed quickly. Congress backed AT&T’s proposal and passed the legislation allowing the use of only the numbers 9-1-1 when creating a single emergency calling service, thereby making 9-1-1 the standard emergency number nationwide.   

On February 16, 1968, Senator Rankin Fite completed the first 9-1-1 call made in the United States in Haleyville, Alabama.

Below are some frequently asked questions and answers about 9-1-1 calls:

Do we have (enhanced) E9-1-1 on DSCR?
Yes, and this means that when you dial from a standard telephone or hard line the Emergency Communication Center (ECC) can see who is calling them and where the individual is located.

What if I call from a cell phone when on the installation, where does the call go?
When you dial from a cell phone, your call will automatically be answered by the Chesterfield County emergency dispatcher. Tell them where you are located (Defense Supply Center Richmond, building, room, etc.) and the call will be transferred seamlessly to an emergency dispatcher here on the installation.

What is expected of me when calling 9-1-1?

1. Give the dispatcher your name.

2. Give the nature of the emergency, for example, active shooter, medical emergency, chemical spill, etc.

3. Know your exact location: building, room, cube, etc.  

4. Stay calm and don’t hang up. Until you are instructed to do otherwise, stay on the line so you can provide any necessary information or assistance to the dispatcher.   

Remember - even if you accidently call 9-1-1, don’t hang up. Inform the emergency dispatcher that you dialed accidentally and that there is no emergency.

We hope this information is helpful and gives some insight on how the whole process starts. It starts with you, the caller. You are the first link in the chain of events that will get the right people to the right place to render aid or care to you or a co-worker in the event of an emergency. You are important!

If you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact DLA Installation Support at Richmond’s Fire and Emergency Services, Fire Prevention Office at (804)279-6782 or email us at  We hope you have a fire safe day.