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Frequently Asked Questions

What is 9-1-1?
9-1-1 is the number most people in the United States call to get help in an emergency. They call this number when the police, fire department, or emergency medical services are needed. Your call is routed to the appropriate 9-1-1 Center where specially trained telecommunicators will answer your call.

Based upon the nature of your call, the telecommunicator will dispatch the necessary responders.

The 9-1-1 System makes an important difference in our communities every day. It is your first source of help in time of crisis and it can mean the difference between life and death. When used properly, 9-1-1 saves seconds and those seconds can save lives.


What is Enhanced 9-1-1?
Enhanced 9-1-1 is a system that selectively routes an emergency call to the appropriate Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) based on the valid address of the caller, and automatically displays the caller's telephone number, address, and the registered telephone subscriber name.

Until 2004, North Dakota's PSAPs were only able to receive this information from traditional landline telephones (example: your home or business telephone). Now, all North Dakota PSAPs are capable of receiving similar enhanced information from wireless devices such as cell phones.

Wireless Enhanced 9-1-1 is a system that will route an emergency call to the PSAP based upon the location of the tower handling the emergency call. Phase I of this system provides the 9-1-1 telecommunicator with the telephone number of the caller and the location of the tower handling the call. Phase II of the system provides actual coordinates (latitude / longitude) of the caller's location that the PSAP uses to dynamically display on an electronic map. The futuristic view of the Wireless Enhanced 9-1-1 system is Phase III that would provide an elevation to account for calls made from within multi-story buildings in urbanized areas.
Wireless Enhanced 9-1-1 services are possible because of technological improvements made by the wireless carriers, traditional telephone companies, and the PSAPs to pass and receive that information. In North Dakota, the actual phone used to make the 9-1-1 call must have a GPS chip that communicates with satellites orbiting the earth to determine the caller's location. The FCC requires that where Phase II information cannot be determined, the call must be routed to the PSAP with Phase I information.


Who pays for the 9-1-1 service?
By a vote of County Electors, each household or business pays a $1 per month fee for 9-1-1 service on each telephone line that appears on their phone bill. There is no per-call charge for calling 9-1-1. However, ambulance services dispatched through 9-1-1 may charge for taking someone to the hospital.

The Burleigh County Commission adopted a resolution in July, 2001 extending the $1 fee requiring that all subscribers to cellular phone service in Burleigh County pay a $1 fee per month to their service provider which is then submitted to Burleigh County. All funds collected for 9-1-1 are forwarded to the County Treasurer.What is 9-1-1?
9-1-1 is the number most people in the United States call to get help in an emergency. They call this number when the police, fire department, or emergency medical services are needed. Your call is routed to the appropriate 9-1-1 Center where specially trained Communications Specialist will answer your call.

Based upon the nature of your call, the Communications Specialist will dispatch the necessary responders.

The 9-1-1 System makes an important difference in our communities every day. It is your first source of help in time of crisis and it can mean the difference between life and death. When used properly, 9-1-1 saves seconds and those seconds can save lives.


What is Enhanced 9-1-1?
Enhanced 9-1-1 is a system that selectively routes an emergency call to the appropriate Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) based on the valid address of the caller, and automatically displays the caller's telephone number, address, and the registered telephone subscriber name.

Until 2004, North Dakota's PSAPs were only able to receive this information from traditional landline telephones (example: your home or business telephone). Now, all North Dakota PSAPs are capable of receiving similar enhanced information from wireless devices such as cell phones.

Wireless Enhanced 9-1-1 is a system that will route an emergency call to the PSAP based upon the location of the tower handling the emergency call. Phase I of this system provides the 9-1-1 telecommunicator with the telephone number of the caller and the location of the tower handling the call. Phase II of the system provides actual coordinates (latitude / longitude) of the caller's location that the PSAP uses to dynamically display on an electronic map. The futuristic view of the Wireless Enhanced 9-1-1 system is Phase III that would provide an elevation to account for calls made from within multi-story buildings in urbanized areas.
Wireless Enhanced 9-1-1 services are possible because of technological improvements made by the wireless carriers, traditional telephone companies, and the PSAPs to pass and receive that information. In North Dakota, the actual phone used to make the 9-1-1 call must have a GPS chip that communicates with satellites orbiting the earth to determine the caller's location. The FCC requires that where Phase II information cannot be determined, the call must be routed to the PSAP with Phase I information.


Who pays for the 9-1-1 service?
By a vote of County Electors, each household or business pays a $1 per month fee for 9-1-1 service on each telephone line that appears on their phone bill. There is no per-call charge for calling 9-1-1. However, ambulance services dispatched through 9-1-1 may charge for taking someone to the hospital.

The Burleigh County Commission adopted a resolution in July, 2001 extending the $1 fee requiring that all subscribers to cellular phone service in Burleigh County pay a $1 fee per month to their service provider which is then submitted to Burleigh County. All funds collected for 9-1-1 are forwarded to the County Treasurer.


What is the Central Dakota Communications Center (CenCom)?
The Central Dakota Communications Center (CenCom) operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is responsible for answering all 9-1-1 and non-emergency calls. The Central Dakota Communications Center (CenCom) personnel dispatch police, fire, and emergency medical services for the cities and communities of Burleigh County and the City of Mandan.

The Central Dakota Communications Center has eight workstations, providing public safety communications services for the:
Bismarck Fire Department
Bismarck Police Department
Bismarck Municipal Airport Security
Bismarck Public Works
Bismarck Rural Fire Department
Braddock Fire Department
Burleigh County Highway Department
Burleigh County Sheriff's Department
Lincoln Police Department
Mandan Fire Department
Mandan Police Department
Mandan Public Works
McLean Sheriff's Department
Metro Area Ambulance Incorporated
Rural Metro Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting (ARFF)
Steele Ambulance
Sterling Fire Department
Wilton Ambulance
Wilton Fire Department
Wing Ambulance
Wing Fire Department