Henderson and Hancock Counties Now Have 911 Services


I would like to remind everyone that Henderson County now has 911 service. Henderson and Hancock Counties formed a joint Emergency Telecommunications Service Board (ETSB) which provides 911 services to both counties. The 911 service has now implemented “next gen 911”. What does this mean for you? BETTER SERVICES! When you dial 911 for an emergency; whether it be for fire, ambulance, or police, our 911 is able to gather your location. When you call 911 from a cellular phone the dispatcher will receive an X.Y coordinate of your location. The 911 dispatcher will be able to direct emergency services to your exact location. When you dial 911 from a landline telephone the 911 dispatcher is able to see your address and who is listed on the phone bill. The people working in the 911 dispatch are specially trained to provide everyone with Emergency Dispatch Services.

I have heard some people say “I don’t want to dial 911 because the call goes to Hancock County and it will take longer”. Yes, the call does go to Hancock County but, the 911 dispatch is equipped with all of the radios and pager systems to contact and speak with Henderson County emergency personnel. This means, like I stated before, the 911 dispatcher is able to have your information and contact the correct service without delay.

I have also heard people say, “But I won’t be talking to a Henderson County dispatcher”. The 911 dispatchers are Henderson County dispatchers. They also dispatch for Hancock County. The 911 dispatcher and the dispatcher in Oquawka communicate with each other during the calls. The dispatcher in Oquawka can and will assist the 911 dispatcher.

Henderson County still has a dispatch center. We are NOT however equipped or certified to handle emergency calls. You can call Henderson County dispatch for non-emergency calls.

What is a true emergency?

The National 911 Program, a cooperative effort run by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Department of Commerce, defines an emergency as “any situation that requires immediate assistance from the police, fire department or ambulance” and provides the following examples:

  • A fire
  • A crime, especially if in progress
  • A car crash, especially if someone is injured
  • A medical emergency, especially for symptoms that require immediate medical attention

While the website also advises you to call 911 if you are not sure that something is an emergency, you will encounter many situations that may justify police or fire department assistance, but which are clearly not emergencies.

A neighbor having a loud party next door is not an emergency, nor is a call to the local fire department to find out what to do with discharged fire extinguishers. Only call 911 for situations that require “immediate assistance.”

Please call 911 for any ambulance/medical calls. The 911 dispatchers are certified to ask you specific questions to get the proper attention that you need and help you assist the person needing medical attention, the responding ambulance can be better informed and the dispatcher can help you help them if there is a need.

Please call 911 for fires. The 911 dispatcher can assist you by dispatching the correct department and correspond other departments.

Please call 911 for Police/Deputy emergency response.


***Courtesy of the Henderson County Sheriff’s Department***

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