Emergency Communication Center and Dialing 9-1-1

The Town of Bedford opened its Emergency Communications Center (ECC) on April 2, 1997. All of the town's emergency communications are answered and dispatched through the ECC.

The center employs eight full-time Emergency Communications Officers (ECOs) to man the center twenty-four hours per day, seven days a week. The ECC handles tens of thousands of police, fire, and EMS calls per year.

Dial 9-1-1 for Emergencies
On March 13, 2007, the Bedford Emergency Communications Center was upgraded to the latest 9-1-1 system available in Massachusetts. A significant feature of this new computer-based system implemented by the State 911 Department is an integrated mapping program that is capable of plotting landline and wireless 9-1-1 calls. However, mapping information is not always available, as the technology depends on the capabilities of the caller's cellular telephone. Mapping and address information for landline telephones is maintained by your telephone company.Please note, when dialing 9-1-1 from a wireless telephone, the call is answered by the Massachusetts State Police and then transferred to the appropriate agency based on your location.

You should only dial 9-1-1 if you need the police, fire department, or ambulance right away to protect life or report a crime in progress. If you need to reach us, but do not have an emergency, then dial (781) 275-1212.

It is okay to be wrong when dialing 9-1-1; the ECO will determine if you have an emergency and will take the appropriate action. If you accidentally dial 9-1-1, do not hang up. Instead, tell the ECO that it was a misdial and follow their instructions.

When calling 9-1-1, you should follow these instructions to help us better serve your needs:

  • Give the location of the emergency - try to be specific as possible.
  • Specify the type of emergency.
  • Stay on the phone until the ECO tells you to hang up.
  • After the ECO gathers this critical information, there may be additional questions you may need to answer to better assist the people responding to your emergency.

Emergency Communications Officers
Eight full-time employees staff the Emergency Communications Center on a rotating "4-and-2" schedule 24 hours per day, 365 days a year. In Bedford, all ECOs are certified in Emergency Medical Dispatch, so callers reporting a medical emergency are able to receive life-saving instructions immediately.