When to Dial 9-1-1

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911_pictureDIALING 9-1-1: TO CALL OR NOT TO CALL

Emergency services may be significantly impacted based on the type of 9-1-1 calls received through our Verdugo Fire Communications Center (VFCC). Our regional dispatch center coordinates 44 fire stations in Area C which includes Monrovia Fire & Rescue.  VFCC has devised a 9-1-1 educational program to advocate awareness among our local communities to help determine appropriate guidelines for 9-1-1 calls.


  • If you see smoke or fire.
  • When someone’s life is threatened or in danger.
  • When someone faints or collapses.
  • When someone has persistent chest pains
  • When someone has difficulty breathing.
  • When someone has slurred speech or any paralysis.
  • When someone’s face is drooping, or when they seem altered, incoherent or confused.
  • When there is a traffic collision with an injury.
  • Where there are wires down on the ground or street.


  • Does the victim’s condition seem to be life-threatening?
  • Could moving the person on your own cause further injury?
  • Do they need the medical skills or equipment of a paramedic or an emergency medical technician?
  • Would the distance or traffic conditions cause significant delay in getting the victim to the emergency room?
  • Could their condition worsen and become life-threatening on the way to the emergency room?
  • When deciding whether to call 9-1-1, or to drive to the emergency room, remember that the Hospital Emergency Room always treats patients by highest priority first, whether arriving by ambulance or not.
  • When you call 9-1-1, it activates a network of highly trained emergency medical workers and firefighters: Their time and expertise is valuable and should not be wasted on non-emergencies.


  • When needing transportation to the doctor’s office or to make an appointment with a doctor.
  • When needing a medical prescription filled or for lost medication.
  • Call your doctor for this situation.
  • When seeking treatment for a minor cut or abrasion.
  • Call your doctor or go to Urgent Care if needed.
  • When someone has cold or flu symptoms.
  • Call your doctor for this situation.
  • For medical advice.
  • Call your health care provider, 9-1-1 will not give any medical advice over the phone.
  • When your keys or device fall into the gutter.
  • Call the city’s streets department to assist with retrieval.
  • When there’s a cat or animal in a tree.
  • Place food at the bottom of the tree or call animal control.
  • When there’s a power outage.
  • To pay a bill.

 For a complete brochure (Spanish version pending), click When to Call 9-1-1.verdugo_logo

For more information, click 9-1-1 PSA video and/or Verdugo Fire Communications Center.