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Federal Communications Commission (FCC) law requires wireless service providers to connect calls to 911, even if the caller does not subscribe to the provider's service. FCC law also requires wireless services to provide a caller's phone number and location to 911 communications centers. The location provided must be accurate within a range of 50 to 300 meters depending on available location technology.
Please keep in mind that often times when kids are given disconnected cell phones and realize that they can speak to a live person they continuously call in and tie up our emergency lines.
If you are confined to a bed, immobilized by illness, on oxygen, or have other special needs that would be helpful for emergency responders to know, please submit a Computer Aid Dispatch (CAD) Information Form (PDF) to the 911 Communications Center. The information will be added to your location in the Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) system, and will be displayed automatically when 911 is called from your location.
Please fax forms to 910-798-6925 or mail to:
New Hanover County 911 Communications230 Government Center Dr., Suite 185Wilmington, NC 28403
Additionally, you are encouraged to sign up for the Special Needs Registry in case an emergency or disaster affects our area.
If you accidentally dial 911, it is important that you stay on the line to let the Telecommunicator know there is no emergency. If someone accidentally dials 911 and hangs up, or if 911 is accidentally dialed and the line is left open, it is considered an abandoned call. When an abandoned call is received, the 911 Telecommunicator will immediately try to call back to verify whether or not there is an emergency. If the call is not answered or the line is busy, a law enforcement officer will be dispatched to the location where the call originated to attempt to contact the caller.
Yes, however texting should only be used if you are not able to call 911. New Hanover County's Public Safety Communications Center is able to respond to text messages sent to 911, however this service is not available in all areas of North Carolina or the United States.
Keep in mind that 911 text messages can take longer to receive, may be sent out of order, or may not connect with the 911 center depending on your cell phone's signal. If text-to-911 is not supported in your area or is temporarily unavailable, you will receive a message indicating you need to call or use a telecommunications relay service to reach 911.
For more information and to check the availability of text-to-911 in other areas, visit the FCC's website.
Requests for audio recordings or transcripts from 911 calls must be placed in person at the 911 Communications office, located at 230 Government Center Drive, Suite 185. Requests are accepted Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm. Visit the 911 Records Request page for more details.