911 Communications Center
The 911 Communication Center employees serving you are:
- Commander Andrew Ellickson
- Communication Center Manager Darlene Pankonie
- Public Safety Systems Manager Karen Haines
- Radio Communications Systems Manager Nate Timm
- 27 Public Safety Dispatchers
- 6 Public Safety Answering Point Coordinators
9-1-1 never sleeps, our dispatchers work a rotating schedule with varying days off, so we are always there to answer the public’s calls for help.
By the numbers
The Communication Center dispatches to 16 different police, fire or emergency agencies in Washington County. In 2017, the Communication Center received 72,410 9-1-1 calls and 130,209 non-emergency calls.
The 911 Communications Center does not handle the administrative functions for the law enforcement, fire departments or emergency medical services agencies that we dispatch for.
Requests for reports, records, or other administrative questions should be directed to the public service agency.
Washington County Sheriff’s Office: 651-430-7600
Bayport Police and Fire Department: 651-275-4400
Cottage Grove Public Safety: 651-458-2850
9-1-1 is the telephone number to call when a response from law enforcement, fire, or emergency medical services is needed anywhere in Washington County.
When calling outside of Washington County dial 651-439-9381
9-1-1 Communications Center
The Washington County 9-1-1 Communications Center is a consolidated 9-1-1 public service answering point (PSAP) that is operated by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
The role of the 9-1-1 Communications Center is to provide the public with competent, timely and effective emergency and non-emergency public safety communication services. Over 200,000 phone call requests for service are answered annually. These requests initiate the coordinated response by law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical services to all Washington County residents. The communications center also functions as the central point of coordination for all county emergency warning services.
The communications center has an authorized staffing level that includes the Communications Center Division Manager, 6 PSAP Coordinators, and 27 Public Safety Dispatchers.
When should I call 911
- In an emergency when you need an immediate response from police, fire, emergency medical responders.
- report serious illness, injury or accident
- report a crime in progress
- a fire
- Call 911 even if you have a less threatening situation which requires a non-immediate response from police, fire and ambulance such as noise, parking or traffic complaints.
Alternate non-emergency number
651-439-9381 (this line is answered by 911 Communications Center staff. You may be put on hold if other emergencies are occurring. We ask for your patience, other lives may be at stake.
These tips can help 911 dispatchers help you
Dispatchers may ask you the following information when you call 911; remember to speak slowly, clearly and try your best to stay calm:
- describe the problem or emergency
- your name
- telephone number you can be reached at
- address of where help is needed. If you don’t know, be prepared to provide:
- the city you are in
- the name of the road you are on
- cross streets
- major buildings or landmarks you see
- mile marker signs
- exit ramp numbers
Remember call 911 first in all emergencies
- do not call family members or friends
- do not attempt to transport a seriously ill or injured person on your own
- stay on the phone and answer questions, help is often being started as the dispatcher is speaking to you. Answering their questions helps the emergency responders help you
How to text 911
- enter 911 into the "to" field
- text your exact location and type of emergency
- send the message
- promptly answer questions and follow instructions
- use simple words
- do not use abbreviations, emojis, pictures or slang (IDK, thnx, 2day, btw)
- do not text and drive
Texting 911 may be the first contact for
- individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or those with speech impediments
- in pressure situations when someone must remain quiet to remain safe
- a discreet way to report domestic violence, home invasions, human trafficking, and suicidal
- anyone who cannot safely make a voice call
If you accidentally call 911
- Don’t hang up-please stay on the line an answer the dispatchers questions
- Dispatchers are required to call back all numbers that call 911 and hang up. You will save 911 dispatchers valuable minutes by explaining that you accidentally dialed the wrong number.
How to avoid accidentally calling 911
Lock your keypad
Disable emergency buttons (check your phone’s user manual or contact your service provider to find out if your wireless phone has a pre-programmed emergency 911 button. You may be able to disable it or lock it.