The Bentonville Police, Fire, and EMS Telecommunications Center is the 911 Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for the visitors and citizens of the City of Bentonville. Staffed 24/7, the Telecommunications Center's goal is to provide the City of Bentonville's citizens and visitors a professional, efficient, and courteous connection to police, fire, and EMS services. Our trained employees are there to assist the public with police, fire, and EMS emergencies and non-emergency situations. However, if you have a non-emergency, please do not call 911; please call the non-emergency number at 479-271-3170.
Knowing What to Expect
When calling 911, we understand that the situation you are in can be extremely stressful. During this time, it is important to remain as calm as possible and speak clearly. Should you be calling from a cellular telephone, your location may not always be know as traditionally available through use of a landline telephone. Therefore, it is very important, if possible, that you are able to give your exact location or prepared if possible to provide help like landmarks, businesses, or other descriptive visuals that would help identify your location.
When the 911 Call is Answered by a Telecommunicator
As soon as a telecommunicator answers an emergency 911 call, he or she will answer, "Bentonville 911, what is the address of the emergency?" Once you provide your location, the telecommunicator will attempt to verify that location with the location provided by the 911 service. Once verified, the telecommunicator will tell you, "That's what I'm showing on my screen." The telecommunicator will then ask, "What's the phone number you are calling from?" and repeat, "That's what I'm showing on my screen" if that matches 911. The telecommunicator will then ask, "Okay, tell me exactly what happened?" In order to get the right help to you, we need to know what is happening or has happened.
After gathering the emergency information and depending on the type of emergency you have, the telecommunicator will dispatch the appropriate emergency service (police, fire, or ambulance) to your location, but continue to ask questions related to your emergency or situation, as well as update the responding emergency service(s). This is not delaying any help to you; the telecommunicator continues to gather helpful information for the emergency responders and assess if any additional emergency services you may need. In many instances, the telecommunicator will ask that you remain on the line until help arrives to you.
Understanding Emergency 911 Cellular Phone Calls
When calling 911 on a cellular phone, a cellular telephone tower picks up the signal and directs it to the nearest Telecommunications Center or PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point). Depending upon which tower that best detects your cellular device, a different PSAP will possibly answer your emergency call. Answering in a similar fashion as explained earlier and upon determining your correct location, this PSAP may transfer your emergency 911 call to the correct PSAP. Although technologies have improved and continue to improve, please understand there are times that we cannot determine your exact location.
Keep in mind the following:
- State your location and your emergency. Knowing your location will help responders get emergency services to you faster.
- If you are driving, pull over if possible. This will help prevent dropped calls and assist in verifying your correct location.
- If the line is disconnected, call back on 911 and let the telecommunicator know of the previously disconnected call. In many cases, a telecommunicator will also attempt to call back any disconnected emergency 911 call.