Public Education

When you call 9-1-1 for emergency services from a land line located in a home, business or other facility, your phone number will determine which 9-1-1 emergency center will receive your call for assistance. If a caller is using a cell phone, the wireless signal is transmitted to the nearest cell tower and is then forwarded on to the closest 9-1-1 dispatch center. In the event that your cell phone call needs to be transferred to another 9-1-1 agency, you will be assisted by the staff who took your initial call to provide assistance.

If you are hearing or speech impaired, Illinois 9-1-1 agencies are equipped with a Text Telephone (TTY), also known as a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf that provides communication through your TTY/TDD device. NORCOMM personnel are also trained to work with relay services and are able to handle your request. If you do not speak English, we are able to contact the Language Line to provide an interpreter.

When you are connected to our dispatchers, inform them that you wish to remain anonymous. We make every effort to protect the identity of our 9-1-1 callers.

Questions during the 9-1-1 call

While speaking with our 9-1-1 dispatchers, we will need to ask you some questions in order to be as helpful as possible. If it is determined that you do not have an actual emergency, we can refer you to the non-emergency phone number for additional assistance. 

Here are some of the questions you might be asked during an emergency 9-1-1 call.

It is critically important that you be able to tell the NORCOMM 9-1-1 dispatchers the location of the emergency about which you are calling. This is especially crucial if you are calling for services from a different location than where the emergency is occurring.

If possible, it is best to provide the exact address of an emergency for dispatchers. However, sometimes callers do not know this information. Should this occur, give the dispatcher a cross street, block or any other relevant details about where the emergency is happening. The NORCOMM dispatchers will also ask you for a description of the building, car or the people involved in the emergency.

We will ask you to provide a call back number, so we can reach you if needed. Be sure to provide your full phone number, including area code. This information is very important as we do not rely totally on the phone number data transmitted to us from the 9-1-1 record.

We will ask you to provide a call back number, so we can reach you if needed. Be sure to provide your full phone number, including area code. This information is very important as we do not rely totally on the phone number data transmitted to us from the 9-1-1 record.

When an emergency occurs, the time it happened is a critical part of determining the appropriate type and level of response. If time has passed since the emergency happened, additional resources may be needed.

Often people calling 9-1-1 are doing so on behalf of a friend, neighbor, loved one or even a stranger. Knowing as much information as possible about the people involved in an emergency will help our dispatchers send out the appropriate kind of help.

To the best of your ability, inform the 9-1-1 dispatcher whether a medical emergency has occurred and if an ambulance is needed. NORCOMM can provide Emergency Medical Dispatch instructions over the phone while waiting for first responders to arrive. By knowing exactly what emergency medical resources are needed, we will be better able to dispatch appropriate personnel and equipment to the scene.

During an emergency where a crime has occurred, provide to the dispatcher any available information about the physical description of the people involved or details regarding vehicles that you have observed.  Even if you do not know too much about the situation, that is ok. Any information will help us respond appropriately.

Maintaining the safety of our area residents and first responders is a top priority at the NORCOMM 9-1-1 emergency dispatch center. If you become aware of an emergency situation involving weapons of any kind, be sure to alert your dispatcher about this information. Having this knowledge will help us provide the right kind of response so everyone involved can remain as safe as possible. 

While it may seem that being asked questions from our 9-1-1 dispatchers will delay our response time, the opposite is true. When speaking with you about an emergency, the dispatchers will be entering information into our system at the same time. This allows us to send help even when you are still on the line.

NORCOMM also provides Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) instruction. These pre-arrival questions help first responders and can provide instruction on lifesaving techniques for CPR, choking situations or childbirth assistance. Our personnel are trained in these procedures and maintain a certification and license through the state of Illinois.


NORCOMM dispatchers keep track of all responding units and calls that come into the 9-1-1 call center.   Dispatchers are trained to prioritize and handle multiple calls for assistance at the same time.  Dispatchers may ask you to wait on the line while another request is answered. Please do not hang up, as we will return to your call promptly to provide service.

For additional information about calling 9-1-1 or to arrange for a tour of our 9-1-1 center, please contact Public Education Committee Deputy Director Dionne Jones at 630-903-2486 or

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