9-1-1 Center

The Mission

Respond to 9-1-1 calls promptly; to alert the public safety providers in a timely manner and to coordinate the response of the public safety services.

The Goal

Utilize applied technology to maintain an effective and efficient 9-1-1 Public Safety Communications System. The center is located within the Department of Public Safety. The center operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can be accessed for public safety needs by dialing 9-1-1 for emergencies. The center also handles non-emergency calls through three regional phone numbers:

  • 717.243.4121 for the Carlisle area
  • 717.238.9676 for the West Shore area
  • 717.532.8878 for the Shippensburg area

About 9-1-1

9-1-1 Emergency is any event that requires an immediate response by police, fire, or emergency medical services. If the call does not meet these criteria, it is not a legitimate 9-1-1 call. 

The 9-1-1 concept was originally developed to provide the citizen with one, simple, easy-to-remember number for summoning help in an emergency situation. The first 9-1-1 system, now referred to as Basic 9-1-1, directed all 9-1-1 calls received by a telephone company office to a single PUBLIC SAFETY ANSWERING POINT (PSAP), regardless of public safety jurisdictions. The personnel receiving the call had to determine proper jurisdiction, locate the corresponding telephone numbers, and forward the calls to the responsible agency.

Advances in computer and telephone technology have combined to create an improved version of the Basic 9-1-1 system. This ENHANCED 9-1-1 system actually accelerates the speed of processing a call by eliminating the need for personnel to determine jurisdiction and locate the corresponding telephone numbers. A feature known as Selective Routing


The communications center dispatches calls for all law enforcement agencies and departments within Cumberland County, with the exception of the Pennsylvania State Police (Carlisle Sub-station 717.249.2121).

The County is licensed through Priority Dispatch to provide Emergency Police Dispatch (EPD). For life-threatening situations, callers will receive post-dispatch and pre-arrival instructions to enable them to keep bystanders safe prior to the arrival of Law Enforcement personnel on the scene. 


The communications center serves all of the Cumberland County Fire Companies. The communications center also activates school district alert devices.

Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

The communications center dispatches calls for EMS services for all of Cumberland County. The county is licensed through Medical Priority to provide Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD). For life-threatening situations, callers will receive pre-arrival instructions to enable them perform emergency first aid, prior to the arrival of EMS personnel on the scene.

Commonwealth Law Enforcement Assistance Network (CLEAN)

The communications center provides a link for law enforcement to the statewide-computerized information system for criminal justice activities.

Contact: State Police Carlisle Sub-station
Phone: 717.249.2121

Selective Routing

Selective Routing automatically routes the 9-1-1 call to the predesignated call center responsible for addressing all public safety responses to the address from which the call has been placed. This gives each community control of their emergency call responses and emergency unit dispatching functions.

It should be emphasized that - if the emergency actually exists at a location apart from where the call is being placed - the caller must make it abundantly clear where the response team will find the emergency situation. For example, if a passerby saw a house fire, went to a phone booth two blocks away, and calls 9-1-1, unless they provided the address of the flaming house, the responding team would arrive at the phone booth. Thus, valuable time would be lost before they actually arrived at the fire scene. Therefore, when using 9-1-1, the caller must make it clear where the emergency exists, if it is NOT at the address that corresponds with the telephone number from which they are calling.

Automatic Number Identification (ANI)

At the receiving end of the call, an Automatic Number Identification (ANI) feature instantly displays the caller's number, allowing for quick transfer to additional locations with the touch of a single button. Single-button transfer not only saves time, but also virtually eliminates the possibility of a call being lost in the transfer process.

Automatic Location Identification (ALI)

An Automatic Location Identification (ALI) feature displays the caller's exact location. Thus, even if the caller is unable to give the address, help can be dispatched. 

Enhanced 9-1-1

Enhanced 9-1-1 provides citizens with an easy-to-remember emergency number and more direct access to the proper emergency service agency. These factors, along with computer access to data regarding the caller's location, have done much to improve the communication of vital information.

Answering Points

Cumberland County has two E-9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Points. One is a fixed site and one is a Mobile Communications Unit.