Knowledge about Canada: What to Expect When You Call 911

Lisa C. Community, Newcomer Information

We previously discussed when you should call 911. Today let’s take a look at what to expect to be asked when you make the call.

What is your emergency?
  • Explain briefly what the situation is and what sort of emergency service is required.
  • You do not need to provide full details at this point.
In what town or city?
  • Calgary 9-1-1 answers calls for Calgary as well as many surrounding communities.
  • Please say which city the emergency is in.
Is there currently any weapons or violence?
  • This will be asked regardless of the situation to assess if police are needed.
You will then be connected to the appropriate agency, where you will be asked to provide the following information:
  • the exact location of the emergency
  • your phone number
  • details of the emergency
  • 9-1-1 receives your approximate location based on GPS data from your phone, but a more precise location is important.
  • If you don’t have an exact address, you can report an intersection (e.g. 15 Avenue at 4 Street SW), a business name or commonplace (the Core, Peace Bridge, Calgary Zoo, etc.), or if you’re on a Calgary pathway, look for special signs that contain a set of letters & numbers which act as emergency locators.
  • Here’s an example of an emergency locator in Fish Creek Provincial Park taken from this map posted by the Alberta government.

If you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident, you will be asked if there are any injuries and if any fluids are leaking or if there are any other hazards. If the answer is no, you will be asked a series of questions to assess if police presence is required.

When shouldn’t you call 911?

Visit to learn more.

Word of the Day:

Pathway: a path for walking, running, in-line skating or cycling

The information posted in this article is based on the official website of the City of Calgary on June 9, 2021:

Please note that our website is an initiative of Immigrant Services Calgary – a non-for-profit agency helping immigrants. The information in this article is provided to help new immigrants navigate their new life in Calgary.