911 Emergency Tips

Sarpy County

Sarpy County 911 Dispatchers are trained to ask questions that will help you get the assistance you need as quickly as possible. It is important to stay on the line with your 911 dispatcher until you receive instructions to hang up.  If you are in danger, you may be instructed to leave the building, secure yourself in a room, or take other protective actions.


What questions will the 911 dispatcher ask?

  • What is your current location?
  • What is your phone number?
  • What is happening?
  • When did the incident occur?
  • Are there injuries?
  • Can you describe any suspicious persons or vehicles?
  • Do you want contact from officers?
  • Are there any weapons
  • Has anyone been drinking or using drugs

How long will it take for officers to respond?

Officers always try to respond as quickly as possible; however, there are a number or factors that determine how long you may wait for an officer to respond. For instance, the number of incidents and priority of calls could delay the officer from responding to your incident immediately. The type, and priority of calls determine the response time as will the number of available officers in your neighborhood.

Due to the dynamic of constantly changing call volume, officer availability cannot be precisely estimated. Some calls may be resolved in just a few moments, while others require more thorough investigation and could take hours to complete. 


Can I request an estimated time of arrival?

While it is reasonable to want to know how long it will take for an officer to respond, there are several logistical and operational barriers that make it difficult for dispatchers to provide citizens with an estimated time of arrival (ETA). 

Photo of 911 dispatcher

How are calls processed?

When you call for assistance, whether you are reporting an emergency or a non-emergency situation, your incident is entered into our Computer Aided Dispatch System (CAD) for tracking purposes.  We verify your address, obtain your contact numbers, create a short summary of what is happening, determine the nature of incident, and assign a priority ranking to the call. These priority rankings are established by the local law and fire agencies.


How are 911 calls prioritized?

Call volume in the 911 Communications Center fluctuates through the day. At any time, we can receive numerous high--priority calls, or perhaps a single call requiring multiple-officer response. Emergency calls always take priority and are dispatched first. Priority rankings are established by the local Police Department and Sheriff's Office.


What happens if I accidentally dial 911?

If you mistakenly reach 911, please do not hang up before the 911 Dispatcher answers the phone.  The information from your phone still enters our system.  If you aren’t on the phone when the Dispatcher answers, she or he will call you back.  The time spent calling people back who have inadvertently dialed 911 takes time away from people who need emergency help.


Can I send a text to 9-1-1? 

Sarpy County Consolidated 9-1-1 Communications is able to accept 9-1-1 emergency text messages. Texting should only be used when you are unable to make a voice call to 9-1-1.


How to text 9-1-1 in an emergency:

  • Enter the numbers “911” in the “To” field
  • The first text message to 9-1-1 should be brief and contain the location of the emergency and type of help needed
  • Push the “Send” button
  • Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 9-1-1 call taker
  • Know your location; help us, help you
  • Text in simple words – do not use abbreviations
  • Keep text messages brief and concise


Below are a few things to know if you need to text 9-1-1:

  • Text location information is not equal to current location technology; help us, help you by knowing your location, street address, mile marker or intersection
  • As with all text messages, 9-1-1 messages can take longer to receive, can get out of order or may not be received
  • Calling 9-1-1 is the preferred method; call if you can and text if you can’t
  • A text or data plan is required to place a text-to-9-1-1 call
  • If texting to 9-1-1 is not available in your area, or is temporarily unavailable, you will receive a message indicating that texting 9-1-1 is not available and to contact 9-1-1 by other means
  • Text-to-9-1-1 cannot include more than one person. Do not send your emergency text to anyone other than 9-1-1
  • Do not text and drive