Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Frequently Asked Questions

When can I call 911?


911 lines are reserved for emergency calls to report a crime in progress, or a fire, or to request an ambulance. The only time you should call 911 is if a person is badly hurt or in danger right now!

  • Can you call 911 if there's been a car accident? YES!
  • Should you call if you see a crime, like someone hurting someone else or breaking into a person's house? YES!
  • What if someone suddenly seems very sick and is having a hard time speaking or breathing or turns blue? CALL RIGHT AWAY!
  • What if someone collapses or passes out? ABSOLUTELY CALL!
  • What if someone's house is on fire? DEFINITELY CALL!
Never call 911 as a joke or just to see what might happen. When the emergency dispatcher has to take the time to talk to people who don't have a real emergency, other people who call and do need help right away might have to wait. If the 911 system receives multiple calls at the same time, these calls will be handled on a priority basis with the most serious emergencies being handled first. Please be patient if your call is put on hold. DO NOT HANG UP!




What should I do if I call 911 by mistake?


If you call 911 by mistake, DO NOT HANG UP. Stay on the line and explain that you do not actually have an emergency. If a caller to 911 hangs up without stating the problem, the caller will be contacted in order to ensure that no actual emergency exists. This may involve the dispatching of an officer to your home or place of business in order to ensure that a problem does not exist.




How will my call be handled by the 911 dispatcher?


When you call 911 to report an emergency, the dispatcher will ask you at least five basic questions.

  1. Where is this happening?
  2. When did this happen?
  3. What is happening now?
  4. Who is involved?
  5. How can we help?
Other Information You May Need:
  • The exact location or address of the emergency.
  • When giving locations include nearby intersections, landmarks, building name, floor, room or apratment number, as well as directions to the address if possible.
  • A clear description of exactly what is happening.
Remember:
  • Attempt to stay calm when you are talking to the 911 dispatcher.
  • Take a deep breath.
  • Listen to and answer each question.
  • DO NOT HANG UP after dialing 911 until the dispatcher tells you to do so. (Even if you did not mean to dial 911.)




Does it make a difference if I call 911 on a cellular phone?


Yes! When you make a 911 call from your wireless/cellular phone, dispatchers may not receive the phone number and exact location from where the call originated. When you make a call from a cellular phone keep in mind that you need to know...

  • Your cellular phone number. If you provide your cellular phone number to the 911 dispatcher, the dispatcher will be able to reach you in case your call is disconnected, which often happens with cellular calls.
  • A good description of your surroundings. It is a good idea to always know the name of the road you are traveling on, which direction you are headed and how many miles you are from the nearest town or the nearest cross street.
Remember: Many people do not have their cellular phone number memorized. Make sure that you have the number written down in an easy to find location before you need to call 911.




What should I teach my child about calling 911?


While many children are familiar with dialing 911 in an emergency situation, they often do not know other important information, such as their address or how to reach a parent at work. Here are some of the most inportant information children need to know about calling 911:

  • Teach your children their names, their parents names, their home address and phone number.
  • Teach your children the name of your employer and phone number.
  • Teach your children what an emergency is and when to call 911.
  • Teach your children how to hold the phone properly so that they can speak clearly to the dispatcher.
  • Teach your children not to be afraid to call 911 if there is any doubt as to whether they should.
  • Teaching your children to call you at work before calling 911 wastes valuable time. Give them permission to call 911 if they think there is an emergency.
A brochure "Children and 911" can be downloaded by clicking on this link.




Can I call 911 if I use a T.D.D.?


YES! The Mesilla Valley Regional Dispatch Authority (MVRDA) 911 system is equipped with TDD/TTY equipment. Communications professionals receive extensive training in handling emergency situations utilizing this special equipment. ADDITIONALLY: Our Smart911 feature allows MVRDA to intiate a text messge conversation with callers AFTER you have dialed 911 on your smartphone AND the call has been answered by us. NOTE: You should also consider signin up for "Smart911". Cell phones registered with Smart911 allow the 911 dispatcher to initiate a text message conversation with you after you have dialed 911. You can sign up for Smat911 by clicking on this link.




Can someone who does not speak English call 911?


YES! MVRDA subscibes to "Voiance", which provides access to interpreters who speak more than 200 languages 24-hour per day. Even when receiving a 911 call from a non-English speaking individual, help is only minutes away. Additionally, MVRDA staffs Spanish speaking personnel on-site on all shifts.




Will I receive medical instructions when I call 911?


The information that you receive when you call 911 varies depending on the type of the emergency. For medical emergencies that require an ambulance, you may be given instructions from the dispatcher to:

  • control bleeding
  • help someone who is choking
  • perform CPR
  • deliver a baby
It is recommended that you learn CPR and other life-saving techniques. Contact your local Fire Department of the American Red Cross for more information. NOTE: Even though our call takers may be asking you additional questions, or giving you instructions, help has already been dispatched to respond to your emergency.




What should I do in case of a fire?


GET OUT SAFELY Test doors before opening them, If they are warm, use an alternate escape route. Crawl on your hands and knees low under the smoke, keeping your head 12 to 24 inches above the floor. If your clothing catches fire, remember to STOP, DROP and ROLL. GET OUT AND STAY OUT Never go back inside a burning building. Do not try to rescue pets or possessions. GET HELP Call 911 from a different location after you have escaped. REMEMBER YOUR ESCAPE PLAN Go to the designated meeting place and wait for the fire department. Count heads and be prepared to advise firefighters if anyone is trapped inside. Remember: Fire survival begins long before a fire ever starts. Be sure you have smoke detectors installed with fresh batteries. You also need and escape plan that has been practiced and you must react immediately at the first sign of a fire. For more information on how to make an emergency plan, click on this link.




What are the dangers of carbon monoxide?


Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless deadly gas created by home appliances, furnaces, dryers, heaters and other items that burn fuel. Symptoms of CO poisoning include:

  • headache
  • fatigue
  • nausea
  • dizzy spells
  • confusion
  • irritability
Increased exposure can lead to vomiting, loss of conciousness, brain damage and death. In case of a CO alarm or suspicion of CO poisoning... GET OUT Do not open windows or doors. Leave them closed so that an accurate reading can be obtained. GET HELP Contact 911. STAY OUT Do not re-enter the premises until you are told that it is safe to do so.




What should I do in case of a natural gas leak?


GET OUT GET HELP After you've gotten out, contact 911 if you suspect that you have a natural gas leak in or near your home. STAY OUT Do not re-enter the premises until you are told that it is safe to do so.




Should I call 911 when my utilities stop working?


NO. You need to conact your individual utility companies who provide phone, gas, water and electric services to your home.




How can I request audio recordings and/or written records from MVRDA?


An Online Information Request Form is available. Note: There is a fee for records duplication. To request public records from MVRDA, click on this link.




Can't find an answer to your question?


If you can't find the answer to your question in this FAQ, feel free to contact us at your convenience. To contact us via e-mail, click on this link.





© 2018 by: 

Mesilla Valley Regional Dispatch Authority

911 Lake Tahoe Ct.

Las Cruces, NM 88007

Contact Us:

Administration: (575) 647-6800

Fax: (575) 647-4868

E-mail: Admin@MVRDA.org

Non-Emergency (575) 526-0795

FOR EMERGENCIES DIAL 9-1-1

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