Van Wert County 9-1-1


Challenge Coin 1

9-1-1 is about providing the public with one simple easy to remember number to use in emergency situations.

Van Wert County has been live with 9-1-1 since 1995 and Phase 2 compliant since spring 2006.
All of Van Wert County is covered by 9-1-1

When to Call 9-1-1

Call 9-1-1 to report any emergency - Police, Fire or Medical.

If you have an emergency call 9-1-1. In the event your 9-1-1 call does not go through, hang up and dial 419 238-3866 for the Sheriff's Office or 419 238-2464 for the Van Wert City Police.

Here are just a few examples

  • Car Wreck
  • Someone is choking on their food
  • Fire of any type, house, woods, car
  • If you see a crime in progress
  • Dangerous situation such as a gas leak
  • Power line down
  • Someone is drowning
  • Someone is hurt or bleeding or having trouble breathing
  • Severe weather such as to report tornado sighting

What we need to know

All you have to do is answer our questions. Stay on the phone and answer the Dispatcher’s questions as calmly as you can.

You will asked the following:

  • The location of the problem. If you do not know the address, be prepared to give directions or describe your location.
  • The type of problem
  • Tell us in plain language what is happening
  • Details about the problem.
  • The dispatcher is trained to get information while the emergency units are responding.

Emergency Medical Dispatching

EMD dispatchers who have received specialized training can provide information to a caller that often improves the outcome of an emergency. EMDs can tell someone how to perform CPR or try to clear a blocked air-way. Often the instructions given are much less dramatic, such as controlling bleeding or general first aid. Not all 9-1-1 Centers provide EMD, Van Wert County is very proud to be among those that provide this life saving service.

What can I do?

You and the dispatcher can make a real difference while the emergency units are on the way. The dispatcher will give you directions so you can help with...

  • CPR
  • Rescue Breathing
  • Childbirth
  • Choking (Heimlich maneuver)
  • Control bleeding
  • Other first aid

When NOT to Call 911

Do not call 9-1-1 if the problem is not an emergency.

Look up the non-emergency number for the appropriate agency in the phone book. If you call 9-1-1 for a non-emergency situation someone with a real emergency might have a delay in receiving help.

Some Examples of When Not to Call 9-1-1

  • Loud party or music
  • Barking dogs or cats up a tree
  • To ask directions
  • To report power outage
  • To ask for a police report
  • To check for severe weather

How 911 Works

Van Wert County is served by an Enhanced 9-1-1 system. The name address and phone number of the telephone used to dial 9-1-1 is displayed on a computer screen at the 9-1-1 center if a traditional wired telephone was used to make the call.

Cell phones display your location subject to exceptions. Cell phones are not as precise as a traditional phone. You should be prepared to give your location and surroundings if you call 9-1-1 from a cell phone.

VoIP phone service varies depending on your service provider. Please read the fine print from your provider about 9-1-1 and visit to learn more.
Combining location information with questions asked of the caller, the call-taker determines which emergency agency or agencies should respond to the scene. The departments are then notified to respond by the dispatcher.

Van Wert County has two Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP) -

One PSAP is located at the Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center,  answering all landline and cell phone calls originating in the county.

One PSAP is located at the Van Wert City Police Department Communications Center,  answering all landline and cell phone calls originating in the city.

Each PSAP is capable of backing up the other PSAP in the event of overflow calls, or if one PSAP is down for any reason.  If both PSAPS are unavailable in Van Wert County,  9-1-1 calls will forward to Allen County Ohio.

911 Line Charge Info

Van Wert County 9-1-1 is funded by a surcharge on telephone service. The citizens voted to pay a surcharge on the landline telephone of 50 cents per month.

Ohio enacted legislation to charge 25 cents per cell phone to help cover expenses in providing 9-1-1 service to cell phone users.

The landline money is collected by the respective telephone company and forwarded to the County Coordinator. From this money we pay for equipment and maintenance of equipment.

The wireless money is collected by the Ohio Department of Taxation and disbursements are distributed to all counties and the state 9-1-1 coordinator.

Additional information may be found in the following PDF documents

ORC Information
Commissioners Resolution
Notice Of Election Ads

For Additional Information or Questions Contact Our Office

Email  Rod Smith - Communications Director \ PSAP Manager:  or call 419-238-3866
Do Not Use The Above Contact Information For Emergency purposes!

Board Members

Sheriff Thomas M. Riggenbach - Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office, Chairman
Chief Douglas J. Weigle - Van Wert City Police
Chief Jon Jones - Van Wert Fire Department
Pam Henderson - Citizens of the County
Chief King - County Fire Chiefs
Kyle Brunson - Citizens of Van Wert
Chelsey Young - EMS
Rick McCoy - EMA
Lt. Timothy Grigsby - Ohio State Highway Patrol
Bill Poe - Township Trustees


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