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News Release

Despite Internet Rumors, 9-1-1 is the Number to Call in an Emergency

February 26, 2013



Henderson, Nev. – An urban legend that has been around for more than a decade has surfaced again this month on social media sites urging people to dial a number other than 9-1-1 in an emergency.

Earlier this month a story was posted on Facebook and has been reposted many times regarding a college student who was being pulled over by an unmarked car. She didn’t want to stop and allegedly called 1-1-2 to contact the police.

In the event of an emergency, call 9-1-1 from your cell phone or land line phone. Do not call any other numbers when seeking emergency assistance.

“In the event of an emergency, every second can matter so I urge all who need emergency help to call 9-1-1,” Henderson Police Chief Patrick Moers said. “By calling another number in an emergency, getting help to you could be delayed.”

The Henderson Police Department has been in contact with the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) regarding this issue. NENA representatives have also implored people to only use 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency.

The number 1-1-2 is the standard emergency number used in many European countries; however, it is not the standard number in the United States or Canada. Calls in the United States to 1-1-2 may be automatically redirected to local emergency services depending on the service provider. However, in the event of an emergency do not depend on a call being redirected to 9-1-1.

“Anyone in the United States or Canada facing a genuine emergency is encouraged to dial 9-1-1 and no other number,” said Brian Fontes, NENA chief operating officer.  “And never call 1-1-2 just to ‘test’ if it works; you will tie up public safety resources and waste valuable time for people facing real emergencies.”

This urban legend first surfaced in 2002 and as in the 2013 version, has a college student named “Lauren” calling 1-1-2 to reach the police. The story also surfaced in 2010 by way of email.

The bottom line is that anyone calling for emergency assistance in the United States or Canada should always dial 9-1-1 for the fastest and most effective response.

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