Communications

The communications center is the Emergency and Non-emergency call center for the entire county. We dispatch  all Municipal Police and Sheriff’s Department personnel, including  Barron Police, Cameron Police, Chetek Police, Cumberland Police, Rice Lake Police and  Turtle Lake Police to incidents in their jurisdictions.

We also dispatch all EMS and Fire calls for the entire county. Local EMS stations are located in Barron, Chetek, Cumberland, Rice Lake and Prairie Farm. Fire departments are located in Almena, Birchwood, Barron, Bear Lake/Haugen, Cameron, Chetek, Cumberland, Dallas, New Auburn, Prairie Farm, Rice Lake, Clayton, Clear Lake, Sand Creek and Turtle Lake.

Barron County has an enhanced 911 system.  What this means is that as soon as you have dialed 911 on your phone, we will get the call.  There is no way to cancel the call from your phone.  If you hang up, we still get the name of the person, the address, phone number and responder information for the location that the phone line is associated with.  If you do hang up we will call back and  try and get as much information about what is going on as possible.

Dispatch

There are four reasons to call  911:

  • To get help for someone who is hurt or very sick.
  • If you smell smoke or see a fire.
  • If you see someone stealing something or hurting someone.
  • If you need emergency help fast for any reason.

Times When You Should Not Call 911:

  • DO NOT CALL 9-1-1 when there is no emergency such as someone stole your bicycle while you were at school or your neighbor has loud music and you want them to turn it down, etc. You should use the non-emergency telephone number for your area to report these types of things. Barron County’s non-emergency number is 537-3106. You will reach the Barron County 9-1-1 Dispatch Center and your call will be prioritized as a non-emergency.
  • DO NOT CALL 9-1-1 to practice to see if it works. We have tested many numbers throughout the county and we know it works.
  • DO NOT CALL 9-1-1 as a game, prank or joke. Barron County has an enhanced 9-1-1 system. This means the 9-1-1 equipment captures your call and knows where the call came from. It shows your telephone number, the subscriber’s name, address and the emergency service agencies that service your address. Each time the dispatch center receives a hang-up call they have to call the person back to determine if there is an emergency and also send an officer to your house. If you call as a prank or joke you are wasting dispatcher time, officer time and tying up the 9-1-1 emergency lines preventing someone else who really does have an emergency and needs help from reaching the 9-1-1 center. The county has an ordinance that allows them to fine you for interfering with the 9-1-1 system on these types of calls.

If You Need to Call 911, Please Do the Following:

  • Stay calm. Don’t get excited. Speak loudly and clearly. Dial 9-1-1 right away. Don’t wait for someone else to call.
  • If you need to call 9-1-1 from a location such as a school, business or hotel, you may need to dial special number(s) to reach an outside line before dialing 9-1-1.
  • Cellular Call – If you dial 9-1-1 from a cell phone (vehicle phone) it will go to the nearest dispatch center. If possible provide the dispatcher with the nearest mile marker if traveling on a highway and reporting an emergency.
  • Tell the person who answers the phone exactly what is wrong, like this:Explain what type of help you need–fire, police, and/or ambulance.Tell them the exact location where the emergency is…be sure to give the FULL address, including your apartment number if you live in an apartment.
  • “…my house is on fire.”
  • “…there was just a car accident in front of my house.”
  • Tell them the phone number you are calling from. (If you are not calling from the same address as the emergency, tell them the address where you are.)
  • DO NOT HANG UP…until the person on the telephone tells you to. They may need to ask you more questions to help the fire, police and/or ambulance service find you. They also will tell you what to do until help arrives. (Medical pre-arrival instructions.)

Other Tips on Use of the 911 System:

  • If you accidentally call 9-1-1, stay on the line and tell the dispatcher what happened. This prevents the dispatcher from sending officers to your home and the need to investigate why a call came into the center.
  • Do not program 9-1-1 into the speed dial of your telephones. It is too easy to accidentally push the button to dial 9-1-1 and tie up dispatchers with non-emergency calls.
  • If you have cordless phones in your home, make sure you keep the batteries charged. When the batteries are dying on some cordless phones, the have been known to dial 9-1-1. It reaches the dispatch center as a hang-up call and we have to investigate each call we receive.
  • If you have telephone troubles, it is your responsibility to contact your telephone company to correct the problem.