Why do I always get asked “For what Town or City?”  Can’t they tell I’m in Medicine Hat?

Medicine Hat 911 is the primary answer point (PSAP) for Southeastern Alberta, and will either interrogate your call, or shunt your call to the most appropriate center i.e.) RCMP and/or to the Calgary Public Safety Centre for the dispatch of an ambulance.

Medicine Hat 911 also call takes and dispatches for 24 rural Fire Departments as well as the Medicine Hat Fire Department, so determining the town/city is imperative in getting help to you in the most efficient manner.

Why do they ask me all those questions?  All I want is for them to send me help!

Our call-takers are highly trained, dedicated professionals and their persistence is based on a need to provide accurate and very specific information to the attending emergency responders.  The questions are also designed to address scene safety for you and your loved ones, as well as for the safety of the responding emergency personnel.

If a caller is unsure of what service they need, the 911 call-taker is trained to determine this via interrogation, and swiftly connect the caller accordingly.  Once connected to the correct agency, their dispatcher can also contact other agencies to assist with response.  For example:  If EMS receives a call where police presence is required, they will contact the appropriate department/detachment for assistance.

I called 911 and they put me on hold!

As Medicine Hat 911 is the primary call answer point for all 911 calls in South Eastern Alberta, when your location is determined you may be shunted to another call taker.  Medicine Hat 911 call takes and dispatches for Fire, Police and transfers to Calgary for Ambulance so it is necessary to put you in touch with the appropriate agency call taker.  The entire process usually takes around 25 – 30 seconds.

Why aren’t they sending someone … instead they delayed my call and asked me all these questions first!

Be assured, as soon as the call taker has determined 1) the town or city you are calling from and 2) the service you require – they (or their partner) will be alerting and dispatching those resources to you while you continue to answer the very important questions.