Henry County, Tennessee 911
Henry County 911 Dispatch
EMS - Fire - Sheriff's Office - Police - Rescue For Emergencies, Dial 911  

When to Call 911

You should only call 9-1-1 in EMERGENCIES - when you or someone else is seriously hurt or is experiencing life-threatening conditions. An emergency is any situation that requires the immediate assistance of a police officer, fire fighter or emergency medical services.


  • Crime in progress

  • Fire

  • Breathing problems

  • Choking

  • Unconsciousness

  • Poisoning

  • Drowning

  • Stabbing

  • Gunshot wounds

  • Stuck by vehicle

  • Child locked in vehicle

  • If you are not sure whether it is an emergency or not, call 9-1-1

There are other emergencies, but this gives you an idea of a true emergency.


  • Minor accident (no injury)
  • Barking dogs
  • Burglarized property (not in progress)
  • Power outage
  • Drug Sale
  • Loud parties
  • Weather and road conditions
  • Scores for sporting events
  • Runaways
  • Legal advice
  • Keys locked in vehicle (no child inside)

This gives you a few non-emergency situations

If your situation IS an emergency...

  1. Dial 9-1-1
  2. Clearly state where you are.
  3. Calmly and Clearly tell the dispatcher what the emergency is.
  4. Give your address AND nearest intersecting cross street or landmark. This is very important for verifying the address. For example:
    • I live in Puryear at 109 N. Cherry Street near W. Chestnut Street.
    • I live in Paris at 605 Volunteer Drive across from the Civic Center.
    • If an address is not available, use landmarks such as mile markers, buildings, and signs etc...to describe the location.
  5. Stay on the line - do not hang up until the dispatcher has all necessary information and instructs you to hang up.

The 9-1-1 dispatcher may ask you questions regarding the emergency or provide you with instructions for stabilizing a patient before an ambulance arrives. If possible, stay by the phone in case the 9-1-1 dispatcher needs to call you back.

If your situation IS NOT an emergency...

Please call the proper non-emergency number found in your phone book or through directory assistance. Calling 9-1-1 for a non-emergency ties up phone lines that could be servicing real emergencies - and is also against the law.

Non-Emergency Numbers

When you dial 9-1-1:

When you dial 9-1-1 for a true emergency or by accident, do not hang up, your call will be answered. If you hang up and call back this only delays receiving actual assistance. Every 9-1-1 call is answered.

If you call 9-1-1 and hang up before talking to a dispatcher, the dispatcher will probably attempt to call your telephone back. If you hang up without telling the dispatcher what the emergency is or you did not say anything, a police officer will be sent to your location to see if there is actually an emergency.

Some helpful ideas:

  1. Write your address in large print on or near each phone in your home.

  2. Keep your phone at a level that is reachable if you are injured and lying on the floor - i.e., on a coffee table.

  3. A cordless phone offers mobility throughout your home but keep in mind that it will not work when the power is out.

  4. Make sure your address is on your mailbox and on the front of your home.

  5. Do not program 9-1-1 into your phone's speed dial function - it could be easily dialed by mistake.

  6. It is against the law to have an automatic dialer to call 911 with a pre-recorded message. For instance, if a caller was having a heart attack and had an automatic dialer call 911 with a pre-recorded message, the dispatcher does not know the situation and must send a police officer to see what the emergency is not knowing if its a burglary, etc... The call locations has to be secure. The officer would then call in that it is a medical situation and the dispatcher would send an ambulance. Think about the time that was lost in this example, the heart attack victim probably would have lost their life. It is extremely important that the dispatcher talk to a person, not a machine.