Emergencies don’t happen very often. But when they do, you want to get help fast. No one wants to spend time looking up the phone number. That’s why 911 was created — to make it easy. In the United States and Canada, dialing 911 on your telephone is the fastest way you can get help for yourself or someone else. In 2008, April was identified National 911 Education Month. In Washington, DC, the Office of Unified Communications oversees the designated call center for all District emergency 911 calls and for all District non-emergency and citywide 311 calls. Dial 911 to request police, fire, and emergency medical services for life-threatening situations. 911 is designed for contacting the MPD and the DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department (FEMS) in all situations requiring an onsite response by MPD or FEMS. 911 is a toll-free call accessible through residential, wireless, and pay telephones throughout the District of Columbia. Most people know that 911 is for people emergencies only, but you may need to remind young people how and when to use 911 responsibly. Never call 911 as a joke or just to see what might happen. When the emergency dispatcher has to take the time to talk to people who don’t have a real emergency, other people who call and do need help right away might have to wait. If you do have to call 911 in an emergency, be sure to stay on the phone. Do not hang up until the 911 operator tells you it’s OK to do so. That way, you can be sure that the operator has all the information to get help to you fast!