CRESA Always Here, Always Ready

3-1-1 When and How?

Just a few years ago, Clark County had just one number to call to connect with their local law enforcement.  This meant that if you had a non-emergency complaint (like someone had stolen your bicycle overnight) you had no choice but to call 911 to report the crime.  Community members now can also call 311 or 360-693-3111 to reach the  same 911 dispatchers to report non-emergency issues for local law enforcement. 

Why?  Using this line helps us prioritize calls coming into the center and keeps the 911 lines open for emergencies and those that need immediate assistance! When you dial 311 you will hear a recorded message with alternate phone numbers and resources you may need. CRESA is a busy place, serving all incorporated and unincorporated areas of Clark County as the 911 answering point and dispatch center for our local law enforcement, Fire and EMS providers. The dispatchers and call takers may need to place you on hold to answer other incoming calls. Please be patient with us as the same call takers and dispatchers that answer 911 are also answering 311.

CRESA is a busy place, serving as both the 911 answering point for all of incorporated and unincorporated Clark County and is also the dispatch center for local law enforcement and fire / EMS responders. Please be patient, as the same people answering 911 emergency calls and dispatching responders are the same people answering 311.

A few guidelines to follow when deciding if you need 911 versus 311:

  • Always use 911 for any fire and medical call, no matter how minor you think the medical complaint is
  • Call 911 if your police complaints involves a gun, is a crime happening now, or a situation that requires police to prevent or stop an injury or property damage
  • 311 is the alternate number to report non-emergency law enforcement related complaints

If you are unsure, call 911 and we will get you the right help or refer you to the right resource.  

Answers to Questions You May Have:

Question: If I have a problem after hours that is not an emergency, is there another number I can call beside 9-1-1?

Answer: Yes… You can dial 311  or 360-693-3111 in Clark County.  If you have a concern about anything that is “in progress,” call 9-1-1, state the problem, the location, and a description of subjects or vehicles. We can always refer you to other agencies if we determine it is not an “in progress” emergency. Even a 5 minute delay can make the difference whether police can find the bad guy. Don’t delay; call right away!!!

Question: I called 9-1-1 and they asked me if I had an “in progress” emergency. I said “no” and they put me on hold for a long time. Why did I have to wait?

Answer: Dispatchers may need to put you on hold if you do not have an “in progress emergency. When dispatchers take “in progress” calls such as medical, (ie. cardiac arrest, choking and childbirth), armed robberies and fires, they may need to put you on hold so they can take care of priority situations. That doesn’t mean your call is not important, but some calls take priority over non-emergency calls that have taken place in the past or are not in-progress events.

Question: I called 9-1-1 for an ambulance and I got a fire truck and an ambulance. Why did you send me a fire truck too?

Answer: Every time someone calls 9-1-1 for a medical situation, dispatchers utilize medical triage software that guides your call to get you the best response for your medical emergency.  Oftentimes, a fire truck or a rescue vehicle are paired with an ambulance to get you a fast and efficient response.. Fire Crews are trained in Advanced Life Support (ALS) and Basic Life Support (BLS) treatment protocols.  Fire Crews can provide treatment prior to ambulance arrival.

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