Frequently Asked Questions

Why do the 911 emergency communications specialists ask so many questions?
Emergency dispatchers need to get accurate information to allow officers to make the best decision on how to approach the situation. Dispatchers handling fire and paramedic calls must also consider the well-being of the public and the safety of the firefighters and paramedics.

Please check out our 911 Information Sheet for more information on what happens when you call 911. 

Are all calls recorded?
Yes. Our 911 phone system enables us to record all calls coming in, and the line begins recording before the call is even picked up. Please contact the Emergency Communications Division Chief at 410-228-2222 for additional information.

What happens when all the 911 lines are busy?
Frequently when there is a large accident on a major road or other significant incident, 911 lines can become overwhelmed. The emergency communications chiefs from across the mid-shore recognized this and worked with Verizon to ensure no 911 line will ever go unanswered. If our 911 center is overwhelmed, your call will automatically go to the next available operator in our neighboring counties who can take your information and get it to us so we can send help.

Why was my call picked up by another county?
Your call may have been routed to the incorrect county based on what cellular tower your cell phone connected to. For example, if you are calling from Taylor’s Island, you may hit a cell phone tower in Calvert County across the Bay, or you may hit Trappe tower from parts of Cambridge, Secretary, and the Choptank. Our dispatchers are trained on how to recognize the call is from another county and transfer it quickly to minimize delay.

Complaints or Commendations
If you are unhappy with the care provided to you by a Dorchester County emergency communications specialist, or would like to commend an individual for their assistance, the Emergency Communications Chief can be reached via phone at 410-228-2222.