Please note: at its heart, this question involves understanding the regulatory procedures that county-level emergency response agencies (911 dispatch) have to use for dispatching private companies to respond to crises/emergencies. Because of this I believe the question is on topic here since these procedures would have to comply with (I assume) state and federal law; however, if you disagree, rather than DV or CV this question, perhaps you could suggest another SE site or even Reddit where this question might be more appropriate (please and thank you!)

So, United States here: I am interested in understanding a very particular aspect in how 911 emergency dispatch services work, and there is surprisingly very little information out there on the subject.

Specifically, my understanding of 911 emergency dispatch is to essentially map the incident being reported (via phone call) to the applicable crisis/service providers. For instance:

  • If the emergency call is in regards to a house or structure fire, the local/applicable Fire Department would be dispatched
  • If the emergency call is in regards to, say, a robbery in progress or a domestic violence issue, the local/applicable Police Department would be dispatched
  • If the emergency call is someone who recently ingested a poisonous substance by mistake, a local EMS shop might be dispatched and the caller might be forwarded on to the Poison Control Center for further instruction


In some cases, the service provider that is dispatched will be a public agency, such as a public Fire Department or a Police Department. But in other cases, the provider that is dispatched might be a private company, such as a private EMS or a private/volunteer fire co.

In the case of private companies, how do they land their contract/arrangement with 911 dispatch? Through what department at what level do they have to go through before they can make it onto "the list" that 911 dispatch will use?

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