911 – What you need to know


An emergency happens: someone slips and falls and can’t get up or someone experiences an unfamiliar painful sensation in their chest. What do you do? For many of us, the answer is clear as day when it is not happening – dial 911. When the heat is on, however, many of us are concerned that we may not be doing the right thing or that we are overreacting to a situation that is too minor to be worth the time and resources that activating the emergency response system will use. Rest assured, though, that very few of us are trained to know what to do in an emergency. Not only is it okay to ask for help from somebody who is trained in emergencies, but you should do so. In South King County, Valley Communications Center (our 911 operation center) handles well over 500,000 calls a year. That’s about 1,500 per day! Your calls for emergency help are expected. When you are unsure whether there is an emergency, your calls are expected. Knowing exactly what to do in an emergency situation is not expected. If you have access to a landline, use that before using a cellular phone. Using a cell phone will take you to the National Highway Traffic Administration line, which will manually route you to Washington State Patrol, which will manually route you to Valley Communications Center. If you dial from a landline, you will be directly connected to a Valley Communications Dispatcher. Additionally, when you use a landline, Valley Communications will have an easier time locating you and speeding up EMS response to your location. At our different campuses there are different variations of how best to get a hold of the right people the fastest: From the Wesley Homes Des Moines campus, dial 7911 from a landline. From the Wesley Homes Lea Hill campus, dial either 7911 or 911 from a landline. If you would like to learn more about Valley Communications, please visit their website here.