When to Call 911
Do you know what qualifies as an urgent call? When should you call 911, and what number should you call in a non-emergency?
Emergency Dispatch for:
- Any life-threatening emergency
- Any crime in progress
- Impaired drivers
The RCMP Complaint Line for:
- Dogs barking
- Noise complaints
- Crimes that occurred in the past
St. Albert answers over 10,000 911 calls a year.
More than 10% of these calls are hang-ups (or abandoned calls) – higher here than anywhere else in Alberta. That’s more than three abandoned calls a day!
Prevent Accidental 911 Calls
911 dispatchers follow up each hang-up with a phone call. If you don’t answer when they call back, they will find out who the number is registered to, triangulate it if it’s a cell phone, and then dispatch an officer to ensure the caller is okay.
If you accidentally dial 911, stay on the line and let the dispatchers know that it was an accident. Or answer the phone when they call you back. You won’t get in trouble!
Help Reduce Abandoned and Non-emergency Calls
- Use a screen lock. 95% of abandoned calls came from cell phones.
- Know when to call 911 and when to use the non-emergency number: 780-458-7700 (see above).
- Recycle your old cell phone. Even though your phone is no longer registered, doesn’t have a plan and is now your child’s favourite toy, as long as it has a battery charge – 911 can be dialled.
- Don’t use speed dial for 911 as it increases the risk of accidental dialling.
Did You Know?
- In St. Albert, 911 is handled at the St. Albert RCMP Detachment and serves the city exclusively.
- When someone calls 911 in St. Albert, it is answered locally by one of our dispatchers who are on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- You should never get a busy signal if you call 911 in St. Albert. If all lines are in use, the call will be forwarded to the St. Albert fire dispatchers.
- Currently, St. Albert is implementing the equipment necessary to offer English and French text with 911 for deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired persons. Users will need to register for the service with their wireless provider. This service should be available in 2018.
- If you prank call 911, you can get charged a fine of up to $5,000 for a first offence and up to $10,000 for subsequent offences.
Last edited: November 29, 2019