Giving a 911 Dispatcher a Good Description

In many 911 emergencies, the dispatcher will ask you to describe either the people or the vehicles involved in the emergency.

When describing an individual start at the top of the head and work your way down.
  • What was the race and sex of the subject?
  • How tall was the subject?
  • What was the hair color?
  • What was the subject wearing? (Start from the top of the head and go down.)
  • Did the subject have a moustache, beard, accent, limp, glasses or anything unusual that might make the subject stand out?
When describing a vehicle, the dispatcher will ask for the following information:
  • Color of vehicle
  • Year of vehicle
  • Make of vehicle
  • Body style
  • Additional description
  • License plate number on the vehicle
If you don't know any of the above information, a general description of the vehicle will help. Example: A large, dark older vehicle.