What would you do if you called 911 and it went to voicemail? You might not believe it, but from time to time, the emergency services line gets overrun with calls. They could serve a large area, or the station could be understaffed. So you called 911, and it went to voicemail; what do you do?
In an emergency, nothing is worse than calling for help only to get a recording. Don’t throw more gas on the fire! Calm down and function, or you could be in a rough situation. So read on and learn everything you need to do when your 911 call goes to voicemail.
What to do When Your 911 Call Goes to Voicemail
911 calls can, and in many cases do, go to voicemail for many different reasons, but that doesn’t fix your problem or help you and your family when you need it most.
There are steps you can take when the call goes to voicemail or isn’t answered that will keep you contacting the EMS while still being on the original call line.
Keep the Original Call Going if Possible
Sometimes calls go to a recording that sounds like a voicemail but is ultimately a waiting queue.
This lobby for waiting could seem like a dead end, but by doing a few things about it, you can stay active and keep your place in what could be a long wait.
A few things you can do to keep your original call going are:
- Text – It might seem like a shot in the dark, and it often is, but by texting 911, you could get a response from overwhelmed staff. These texts will not be effective in your situation other than to confirm that you are on hold and someone will take your call.
- Second Line – You can call the number again using a second line. If that call goes into the voicemail or to the queue, you can hang up and keep the original call going. This second line call is crucial because it shows the line’s functionality while showing what happens to other incoming calls.
- Gang Up – Make as many people on site of the emergency make a call to 911 as you can. This floods the lines but also improves the chances that one of the calls will be answered by a live person.
By keeping the call going, you improve your chances of someone picking it up, but that doesn’t mean you can’t continue to reach out for help.
In an emergency, time is of the essence and if you must use your head to coordinate with others, then do what must be done to survive.
If you accidentally call 911, don’t panic. I wrote an entire article detailing exactly what to do if you accidentally call 911. Click the link to check it out.
Call the Information Lines.
If you have a 911 call go to voicemail, you can always call one of the other information lines. Depending on where you live, the number might not be serviceable, or there’s a chance the EMS might not have an information line.
Either way, there are other numbers to try if your call doesn’t get through to 911.
Some other numbers to call in an emergency are:
- Police – The police have a number you can call besides 911. You will find a local call number for your police department if you check the internet. Calling this number will put you directly in touch with the police, not anyone else.
- Fire/EMS – Like the police, your town’s fire and ambulance services will have their number. The number for fire can be found by searching on the internet or going to your city’s homepage.
- Information – If you are one of the lucky places with a 311 number, give them a ring if your 911 call went to voicemail. This number is great for getting directions; if you can’t get 911, they are the place to call.
You can find all the essential information about emergency services on your town’s homepage or by doing quick internet research.
It is a good idea always to have these numbers somewhere you can get to them in an emergency. You never know when they could save your life.
If you’re ever in the position where you need to call 911, there are certain things you should be sure to say. Check out this article about what to say when you call 911.
Using Social Media is an Option
Today’s world revolves around social media. Advertising and management platforms feature each social media site and place users at the center of billions of dollars in revenue and hours spent online.
A few ways to reach emergency services with Social Media are:
- Instant Messaging – Chances are if the department has a Facebook, you could message them using the instant messenger. Contacting them with social media could circumvent the 911 line altogether.
- Post on the Page – Making a post on the page of the authorities you are trying to contact is another way social media can be helpful. If a person monitors the page on the clock, they will get your info and get in touch with you.
- Ask for Help – By placing a post on your page to address your situation, you set up a call for help. With several people trying to reach them, the chances of your call being heard by one of the EMS services are dramatically higher.
Social media is often blamed for starting alarming trends or allowing people to have their identities stolen, but it does have the capability to help.
You can beat the net of their voicemail by contacting your local enforcement or emergency services through social media.
When dialing 911, you always expect to get a live person, but that isn’t always the case.
There are times when 911 calls have been routed to voicemail to create a queue of callers that must wait in line to have their problems solved. Keep up your efforts, and don’t allow a single call to be the only lifeline you use.
Contacting emergency services doesn’t have to happen through the 911 platform. Other ways to contact them don’t crowd up the phone line.
There are social media sites and other numbers that you can call when you are in danger. Be sure to have these numbers where anyone can see them.