911 Communication Center

                                 Ravalli County 911 Communications Center

The Ravalli County 911 Center is a division of our Ravalli County Sheriff’s Office and is led by a sworn Communications Lieutenant. The Communications Center is staffed by 13 Communications Specialist, who answer emergency and non-emergency phone calls within Ravalli County and dispatch all Ravalli County first responders to these calls. Our 911 Communications Center is staffed with at least two Communications Specialist 24 hours a day – every day of the year.

Communications Specialist are dedicated to public safety and are highly trained and motivated to assist you during emergency situations.

Our Communications Center dispatches for 12 Fire Districts, 5 local law enforcement agencies, three ambulance services and numerous state and federal agencies.

The majority of public safety services within Ravalli County, start with a phone call into our 911 Communications Center. A Communications Specialist evaluates the reported incident and determines which emergency services are required for the incident. Our communications team notifies the appropriate first responders with where the incident is happening and what is being reported.

At any given time, our communications team may be managing multiple emergency and chaotic incidents throughout Ravalli County at the same time. If you call our center, be patient as our Communications Specialist have to prioritize phone calls to manage the chaos of several incidents.

If the incident is a medical issue, our Communications Specialist are trained in Emergency Medical Dispatch and will give medical instructions over the telephone until first responders arrive to render medial aid.

If you experience an emergency and dial 911:

• Provide your address or precise location of your emergency or incident. Our Communications Specialist must have your precise location where we can send first responders to help those in need.

• We will confirm your address or location to make sure that we send the right responders to the right people in need of help.

• Provide your telephone number in case the call is dropped.

• Provide your name.

• While our Communications Specialist asks you questions, their partner is sending first responders to your location. Stay on the phone and continue to answer questions to gain more information about your emergency.

• Give a detailed description of the incident you are reporting:

    o If a violent incident is occurring, advise of weapon(s) that are involved (rifle, handgun,     knife…).
    o If you are experiencing a medical issue, the Communications Specialist will ask you  specific questions and will render medical instructions to assist until first responders arrive. Answer the questions accurately and detailed as you can.
    o If you are reporting a traffic violation, try to obtain a complete license plate, vehicle description, location and direction of travel without endangering yourself.

• Listen carefully and let our Communications Specialist ask the questions and guide the conversation so that we can get specific information to relay to our first responders.

• Answer questions clearly & calmly.

• Follow all directions provided by our Communications Specialist.

• Be prepared to provide a physical description of suspects, vehicles, houses, etc.

• Only dial 911 if you have an emergency. If you need to report a non-emergency, contact the non-emergency communications number: 363-3033.

• Do not call 911 if your power is out, unless you have an emergency and need Fire, EMS, or Law Enforcement. If your power is out, contact your service provider.

• Treat our Communications Specialist with respect and patience. They serve you and they are dedicated to help you during your emergency or incident.

• If you accidently dial 911, stay on the line and speak with our communications team.

• Make sure that your home/business address is posted where it can be seen clearly from the roadway and make sure your address is correct. This will assist first responders in quickly locating you during your emergency.

• If you see an emergency incident and you see first responder vehicles on scene, do not call 911 to report the incident. If emergency vehicles are on scene, our 911 team sent them to the incident.

• Do not call 911 to notify or activate Ravalli County burn permits. Go to Burnpermit.mt.gov to renew, obtain, or activate your burn permit. You can also contact your local Fire Chief or visit the Ravalli County Sheriff’s Office to have our staff assist you. You must activate your burn permit every time that you burn; activations can be completed at Burn permit.mt.gov or by contacting 866-212-6318. If you contact our Communications Center about burning permits, you may interfere with life and death emergency calls.

Call 911 if you can, Text 911 if you can’t.

• Text to 911 is not intended to replace calling 911, but is intended for: 
   Hearing/Speech impaired community members.
      o Medical emergencies that render the person incapable of speaking.
      o When speaking on the phone would put you in danger;
         * Home Invasion
         * Domestic Violence encounters
      o When voice calls are out of coverage and unavailable, but 911 text may go through.

• If you text to 911, provide your address or detailed location.

• Provide the nature of your emergency or incident and what services you need.

• Communicate clearly, using full sentences and words. Do not use abbreviations, slang words, or emoticons to communicate with 911.

• You must be in range of a cell tower in Ravalli County to reach Ravalli County 911 by text.

• You must have a data plan, available data and a mobile device capable of sending a text to utilize text to 911 in Ravalli County.

• Out of service and roaming cell phones will not be able to text to 911 in Ravalli County.

• Do not joke around with text to 911. If you text 911, first responders will be dispatched and you will be held responsible if you report false incidents.

Ravalli County receives several accidental 911 calls every day. The majority of these callers are unaware that they dialed 911 or hang up prior to speaking to our Communications Specialist. During such accidental calls, law enforcement is dispatched to these locations to determine if an emergency exists or not. This ties up a great deal of first responder time and resources to determine if these are real events or accidental calls. Please do not call 911 unless you have an emergency and need immediate help. If you accidentally dial 911- stay on the line and speak with our communications staff.

An emergency is a situation that poses an immediate risk to health, life, or property.

Download our Ravalli County Sheriff’s smart phone app by searching Ravalli County Sheriff in your app store. The Ravalli County Sheriff’s Office uses this free app to share press releases, notifications, bulletins, web links, photographs, crime tips, and recruitment opportunities with our community via their smart phone. An example of the app notification may involve a traffic crash that has closed down a roadway. We notify people who have our smart phone app that the road is closed and when the road is open. Another example would include sending a wanted person bulletin or job openings to our community members.

Sign up for our AlertSense public safety notification to receive Ravalli County emergency alert notifications for incidents such as forest fire evacuations or flooding notifications. Our AlertSense public safety emergency notification system allows our Sheriff’s Office to communicate emergency notifications to specific areas, neighborhoods, or addresses of pending emergency incidents. An example would be when a wild land fire threatens specific neighborhoods or addresses. If people in these areas have a landline telephone, we can send out the emergency alert to all people in that area by contacting their landline phone with an automated message. If people in these areas do not have a landline telephone or they are not home, they must sign up for our AlertSense program to receive the emergency alert on their cell phone by text message, voice message, or e-mail.

Go to the Ravalli County web page (ravalli.us) to sign up for Ravalli County AlertSense. Once you are on the Ravalli County web page, click the “Sign up to receive emergency alerts” and then click on the blue AlertSense sign up box. You can select what type of alerts that you want to receive on your cell phone and/or e-mail. You must include your cell phone number and your address so we can notify you of specific public safety emergency alerts that may affect your address.