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Reporting an Emergency


When an emergency strikes, be it a medical emergency, fire or accident, the most important thing you, as a citizen, can do is to remain as calm as possible and call 911 immediately to provide information necessary to set in motion the response most effective to the type emergency that exists. 


All too often, people call 911 too distraught to provide that information; especially the most important; the type of emergency and the location where the emergency exists.  Boundary County does not, as yet, have a 911 dispatch system with the capability of tracing the locations from where calls are made.  Boundary County covers a large geographic area and contains an extensive network of roads, both public and private.  It is important that every resident of Boundary County, including children, know how to provide the dispatcher accurate directions should an emergency strike at home to enable the most rapid response possible.






The Boundary County Sheriff's Office encourages each family in Boundary County to develop an emergency plan, and ensure that each member of the family knows what to do in the event of crisis.


An important part of developing this plan is to write down the physical address of your residence and brief but accurate directions from the nearest major road to your door.  When writing these directions, please be aware that emergencies often occur at night when landmarks prominent in the day are not visible; the directions you write should enable responders to reach you regardless of the time the emergency arises.


These directions should not only be memorized by each member of the family, but copies should be prominently posted by each telephone in the home in the event that a guest or visitor may be called upon to report an emergency.


Many in Boundary County live on private roads and in remote areas which are not accessible by emergency vehicles, especially fire trucks.  Whenever an emergency is reported, every effort is made to get the appropriate responders to the scene; but too often the emergency vehicles can't reach the home, leaving those who dedicate themselves to protecting the public able to do little but stand by helplessly as a home burns or a patient needing assistance lies beyond reach.  Some who do live on private roads that are usually accessible to emergency vehicles should also consider the nature of a Boundary County  winter; too many homes have burned in recent years because roads weren't kept clear of snow.


Please be aware, too, that the 911 line is exclusively for use in emergencies; situations which threaten life or property and require a rapid response.  If the situation you wish to report does not constitute an actual emergency, please call the regular sheriffs phone line, (208) 267-3151.  Using 911 for non-emergency calls ties up that line and could prevent someone facing a true emergency from getting the help they need.