COVID-19 - When to call 911 for Emergencies? Read on.
The Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center is the only 24/7 public safety answering point (PSAP) within the jurisdictional boundary of Clear Creek County. The Communications Center is solely responsible for answering all emergency calls for service and dispatching emergency apparatus for the Clear Creek Sheriff’s Office, Clear Creek Fire Authority, Clear Creek Emergency Medical Service (EMS), Idaho Springs Police Department, Empire Police Department, Georgetown Marshal’s Office, and the Alpine Rescue Team.
Additionally, inbound 911 calls for that portion of the Evergreen Fire District within Clear Creek County and wireless calls for the southern portion of Gilpin County are handled and routed through the Communications Center. The Clear Creek County Communications Center handles approximately 23,000 calls to 911 annually.
Any questions regarding the Communications Center can be directed to Captain Jeff Smith at 303-679-2481.
911 Community Letter
The Clear Creek Sheriff’s Office Communications Center would like to pass on some important information regarding your 911 telephone service. None of us wants to have to call 911, but statistically, most people have a need, at some time in their life, to make that call. In Clear Creek County, all 911 calls are received at the Sheriff’s Office Communications Center in Georgetown. Do you know all there is to know about this lifesaving resource?
What is 911?
It is the preferred number to call in Clear Creek County to obtain help in a police, fire or medical emergency.
When Should You Use 911?
Only use 911 in emergency situations. An emergency is any situation that requires immediate assistance from law enforcement, the fire department or an ambulance, or in the case of a backcountry emergency, the Alpine Rescue Team. If you are ever in doubt as to whether a situation is an emergency, you should call 911. It is better to be safe and let the 911 call taker determine if you need emergency assistance.
If a 911 call is made by mistake, do not hang up. Tell the call taker what happened so they know that there really isn’t an emergency. If you hang up, law enforcement officers will be dispatched to check on the call. While they are responding, a call taker will try to call you back and find out what’s going on. Please help us manage our emergency resources by being careful not to call 911 by mistake.
In Clear Creek County, we encourage you to call 911 to ensure that all databases are working correctly. If you have recently moved into a new residence, opened a new business or have gone through an address change please dial 911 within 30 days. Let the dispatcher know that you do not have an emergency but would like to confirm that your address is correct in the database. (This applies only to landline phones).
"Land Line" Calling
When you dial 911 from a traditional phone or "land line," a dispatcher views a screen that provides:
- The phone number you’re calling from
- The name associated with the phone line
- The address you’re calling from
The dispatchers will ask you to verify the information so that they can send help to the correct location. If you are calling from a multi-line phone system (usually found in office buildings), it may be difficult for dispatchers to determine your location. For more about multi-line systems and using 911 in your building, contact your phone company.
When you dial 911 from a wireless or cell phone, the dispatchers view a screen that provides:
- The cell phone number and the address of the cell site that your phone accessed.
- In some cases, we can obtain GPS coordinates of your location while you are calling.
More on Wireless Calling
Cell phones are convenient and can be very useful if an emergency situation arises. However, for all that they help, cell phones also come with complications.
If your wireless phone is not "initialized," (you do not have a contract for service with a wireless service provider), and your emergency call gets disconnected, you must call the emergency operator back because the dispatch center will not have your telephone number and cannot contact you.
Text to 911
In the event you are unable to make a voice call from a mobile device, the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center is now prepared to accept texts to 911.
A few possible scenarios where a text to 911 may provide advantages over a voice call are:
- The caller is facing a threatening situation and a voice call could increase the threat.
- The caller is injured or suffered a medical condition and cannot speak.
- The caller is in a remote location and can only send out text messages.
When texting to 911, callers should always include their location and the nature of the emergency in their initial message. Avoid using slang, and abbreviations as this may be difficult for the dispatcher to interpret, and possibly delay response.
For more information, please call Supervisor Tom Dale at 303-679-2382.
For more information on the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s CodeRed® (Emergency Notification) project, see the Emergency Notification System page.