911 Observation

Lebanon County Department of Emergency Services offers those affiliated with a Lebanon County Public safety agency a (4) four-hour observation as well as school or organization tours of the 9-1-1 Communication Center.  An observation or tour is an exciting way to get an understanding of how the 9-1-1 System operates. This will include: Call Taking, Dispatching of Police, Fire, and EMS services based in Lebanon County. Observation and Tours are done by appointment only.

Observations and tours are only available to those affiliated with a Lebanon County Public Safety entity.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an observation or tour, please contact a member of 9-1-1 leadership team: (In your email please include a good contact phone number and a reason for the observation/tour.)

Stewart Stilwell – 9-1-1 Center Supervisor


*Individuals will be required to pass a criminal background check before being permitted into the 9-1-1 Communications Center.

* Lebanon County Department of Emergency Services or any representative may deny your request for observations/tours or terminate your observation/tour at any time.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if I call 911 by mistake?

If you call 911 by mistake, DO NOT HANG UP.  Stay on the line and tell the dispatcher that everything is all right.  If a caller to 911 hangs up without stating the problem, the caller must be contacted in order to ensure that no actual emergency exits.  This may involve the dispatching of a law enforcement officer to your home or place of business in order to ensure that a problem does not exist.  One common misconception that citizens have about dialing 911 by mistake is they will somehow get into trouble.  This is not true!

Why is it so important for me to post my house numbers?

Posting your house numbers is crucial to emergency responders in locating you in your time of need. Remember, Enhanced 911 only tells us (the 911 Telecommunicators) where you are. This information has to then be relayed to the responding units. Posting your house numbers makes you much easier to find during an emergency.

Why do dispatchers ask so many questions?

Dispatchers ask for pertinent information first – address, type of call, name of caller or those involved, and your call back number.  Once the initial information is obtained, additional questions may be asked depending on the type of call.  The questioning will not slow down the dispatching of the appropriate assistance.  In emergency cases, this information is relayed immediately to field units so they may begin responding to the incident, while the dispatcher remains on the phone to obtain further details that are also relayed to the responding units as it is gathered, in real time.  The dispatcher will further assist callers by giving instructions to callers on how to administer life saving techniques, such as CPR, during medical emergencies; to take steps to promote the personal safety of the caller, the victim and responding Police, Fire, or EMS personnel, and to engage in those actions that preserve evidence to aid in the apprehension of suspects.

If I dial 911 from a cell phone, will the 911 dispatcher know where I am?

In most cases, yes however. If you have a cellular phone that is four years old or older, it may not possess the technology necessary to transmit your location information. If you don’t know where your are when calling 911 it is extremely important to relay information you can see such as road signs, landmarks, nearby building numbers. 911 Dispatchers are trained to locate you by asking specific questions and information you provide will greatly assist in discovering your approximate location.

Can the center communicate with the speech/hearing-impaired?

Yes.  The Emergency Communications Center is equipped with Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD) enabling communications with the speech/hearing-impaired callers.

If a caller uses a TTY/TDD, the caller should:

  • Stay calm, place the phone receiver in the TTY, dial 911.
  • After the call is answered, press the TTY keys several times. This may help shorten the time necessary to respond to the call.
  • Give the call taker time to connect their TTY. If necessary, press the TTY keys again. The 911 call taker should answer and type “GA” for Go Ahead.
  • Tell what is needed-police, fire department, or ambulance. Give your name, phone number and the address where help is needed
  • Stay on the telephone if it is safe. Answer the call taker’s questions.

If a deaf or hearing/speech impaired caller does not have a TTY/TDD, the caller should call 911 and do not hang up.  Not hanging up leaves the line open.  With most 911 calls, the caller’s address is displayed on the call taker’s screen and help will be sent.

What should I do when reporting an emergency?

When reporting an emergency:

  • Remain calm
  • Speak clearly
  • Listen to instructions
  • Answer all questions
  • DO NOT hang up until instructed to do so by the call taker.

The person answering 911 is a trained dispatcher.  They have been trained as to what questions to ask.  Be prepared to follow the dispatcher’s line of questioning (e.g. WHEN did the incident occur, WHAT is happening, WHERE the situation is occurring, WHO is involved, is a WEAPON involved, what INJURIES have been sustained, etc.).

I speak a foreign language. Can the 911 Center communicate with me during an emergency?

Yes.  When necessary, a 911 call taker can add an interpreter from an outside service to the line. We use an over-the-phone interpretation service of more than 140 languages, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  A non-English speaking caller may hear a short conversation in English and some clicking sounds as the interpreter is added to the line.

+1 717 272 7621
FAX: 717 274 1486

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