911 Emergency


What is 911?

911 Emergency Communications provides the public with competent, timely and effective emergency and non-emergency public safety communication services to residents of St. Louis County.

Our Operations

Our public safety telecommunicators are now operating out of the newly remodeled public safety telecommunications center of Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) with the most up to date technology. They are responsible for answering both emergency and non-emergency 911 calls for services to both the North and South portions of St. Louis County and its over 200,000 residents. They are also responsible for coordinating the response of 185 separate agencies, covering almost 7,000 square miles. 

History Statistics

Calling 911

When Should I Call?

  • When you need direct access to police, fire and medical assistance.
  • To report a crime in progress, a fire, a serious illness or injury or any situation requiring immediate response of the police, fire or ambulance services. 
  • When you have a less threatening situation which requires a non-immediate response from police, fire or ambulance such as noise/parking/traffic complaints.

The Call Taker will ask many questions including:

  • The address where help is needed
  • The nature of the problem
  • Your name
  • Your phone number

Do not call 911 for: road/travel information, legal and medical advice, civil matters, telephone directory assistance, requesting transportation.

Do not call family members or friends first and do not attempt to transport a seriously ill or injured person if you feel you are unable to safety do so.

Calling 911 with a false report is a crime. If you accidentally call 911, please stay on the line to let the dispatcher know that it was accidental and there is no emergency. Children playing with phones often call 911. 

Reminder to the public: phones with no sim card(s) and/or cellular service are able to call 911 in the event of an emergency. 

Wireless Calls

Not all cellular providers are equipped to provide precise location information of a wireless 911 call to the 911 telecommunications center. Therefore, it is important to note the following when making a 911 call from a wireless phone:

Provide your exact location:

  • the city you are in
  • the name of the road you are on
  • cross streets
  • major buildings
  • mile marker signs
  • exit ramp number

Know and be prepared to provide your wireless phone number, including area code, and your name.

Texting 911

Text-to-911 comes with challenges. For instance, emergency response may be lengthened due to the time it takes for a text to 911 to be typed and sent. Delivery of texts and speed of delivery are also not guaranteed. Here are several reminders to ensure the best service and response from dispatchers. 

If there is an emergency and you cannot call 911, take these steps:

  • Enter the numbers 911 in the "To" field.
  • Text your exact address and type of emergency.
  • Send the message.
  • Use simple words, but do not include abbreviations, emoji’s, pictures or slang.
  • Promptly answer questions and follow instructions.

Dispatchers prefer calls so they can get cues from background noise and voice inflections. If you text 911, dispatchers will ask if you can safely place a phone call.

The new service should only be used in emergencies. Texting 911 with a false report is a crime. If you accidentally send a text to 911, send another text, or call 911 to let the dispatcher know that there is no emergency.


Obtaining a 911 Address

The assignment of addresses is handled differently in rural St. Louis County than it is in municipalities.  

In rural St. Louis County
Addresses are assigned to primary structures by the St. Louis County 911 Communications Department.  You can reach the addressing division at 218-726-2921.  When requesting an address, be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Parcel code number (parcel code lookup)
  • Name of road from which structure is accessed
  • Owner name/taxpayer name
  • Possible neighbors name(s) and each of their respective 911 address numbers
  • Legal description (legal description lookup)

Addresses will be assigned to raw land only if an application for a building or septic permit has been initiated.  A copy of the permit should be sent to:

St. Louis County 911 Communications Center
2030 N. Arlington Avenue
Duluth, MN 55811

In Municipalities:
Contact your city clerk for instructions on obtaining an address. 

Displaying 911 Signs

Properly displaying your red and white 911 address number sign assists emergency responders to quickly locate the incident reported.  Posting your address sign correctly may reduce the response time. The term "fire number" is obsolete and is no longer used.  The house number and road name is now the "address" or "911 address number".

Rural Address Sign Placement guidelines set the standards by which all rural address numbers are assigned.  The ordinance and guidelines also provide for the color, size, and installation rules by which all address signs are to be posted.

In rural St. Louis County
All new signs installed after March 2003 must contain the numbers on both sides of the sign and shall be installed perpendicular to the road.

All signs must contain a red background with white numbering and shall be of a reflective material. The bottom of a sign shall be no less than 4’ above the level of the road surface.

In Municipalities
Contact your city clerk for regulations regarding the posting of your house number.

The sign post shall be placed within 10’ of the driveway access and at least 10’ from the edge of the road surface.



In emergency or to file a report, call 911.

All contacts