There are many contact numbers that are useful to remember, as they can provide information and support not only for yourself, but also for situations where you see someone in need. This is a handy list of 3-digit phone numbers and when is it the best time to call.
1. 211 – When you see someone in distress, you can provide help by calling 211 and pressing 3. Doing so will dispatch what is called the 24/7 Crisis Diversion Team which is supported by an organization called REACH Edmonton. This can be particularly useful in the winter if you see a person in the streets that may be hurt or freezing but you are not 100% sure. Calling 211 first before 911 can help prevent the unnecessary use of emergency services. When in doubt, call 211 first. If more immediate help is needed you will be directed to call 911. Examples of situations where you can call 211 are when a person is dressed inappropriately for the weather, a person is intoxicated or impaired, or a person in sleeping in a stairwell or unsafe place. The following link can provide more information. https://reachedmonton.ca/public/Just-Call-211
2. 311 – This provides citizens with access to City of Edmonton information and services. You can do things such as ask for information on things such as transit, libraries or recreation facilities, for a program or service that the city provides, or registering a complaint under the city’s bylaws. Non-English-speaking callers may request the assistance of an interpreter. The 311 agent will connect with an external interpretive service to assist with the call. The interpretive service offers assistance in more than 150 languages. Visit the following link for more information or to access the service online:
3. 377 – This is the Edmonton Police Non-Emergency Line. It is best to use this number to make a report on crimes such as thefts/mischief, assaults, break and enters, sexual assault, fraud, suspicious persons or vehicles and complainst about weapons and guns. Mobile access is also available by texting #377. The following link can provide more detailed information.
4. 811 – If you have any medical concerns or need access to handy medical information, this is the number for Health Link. Callers have 24-7 access and advice from a nurse. If you are unsure about whether you should go to a medical clinic or the emergency room, this is a good resource to access. Additional information can also be provided such as finding the nearest clinic or program, advice on dementia-related issues, as well as where to access health care providers. More information is on their website:www.albertahealthservices.ca/info/page12630.aspx
5. 911 – Police encourage people to call 911 when someone is in a life-threatening situation or if they witness a crime in progress. It is valuable to remember when to call 911 so that help can be provided immediately, keeping in mind that not all situations constitute an emergency.
This is by no means a complete list, but it is a starting point. It’s great that certain social agencies or government departments are tasked to help us meet a specific need and that they are only a 3-digit phone call or a website away.