Interpreter Services for Limited-English Speakers

You Don't Need to Speak Fluent English to Call 911

Bothell Police 911 dispatchers help callers who speak limited English -- every day. Our dispatchers are usually able to help callers without the aid of interpreters or translation services.    

Bothell Police 911 dispatchers won't ask about your citizenship or legal status in the United States.  Their only concern is to help people experiencing an emergency - get the police, fire or medical response they need.

Translation Services Are Available

When translation services are needed during a 911 call, Bothell Police dispatchers have access to interpreters who can help.

The Bothell Police 911 dispatcher will have an interpreter join the emergency call, and will coordinate their assistance. Our dispatcher will remain on the line throughout the call.

How to Call for Help in an Emergency

  1. Dial 9-1-1
  2. Try to state, "This is an Emergency"  or just  "Emergency" 
  3. If possible,  let us know what kind of help you need:
    • "Police" 
    • "Fire"
    • "Medical"
  4. State what language or dialect you speak. 
  5. Remain on the line while the 911 Dispatcher works to have an interpreter join the phone call
  6. Please allow the interpreter to control the conversation, to ensure the quickest-possible response

dispatchers march 21

What Happens During Emergency Calls

When you call 911 with an emergency,  many things are happening "behind-the scenes" to help you.

While one 911 dispatcher is speaking with you, another is alerting area first responders or connecting with any additional help or resources that may be needed. 

Sophisticated technology is also being used to provide first responders with the best possible location information.

First responders are dispatched as soon as possible.  They're already on their way, even if a 911 dispatcher continues to ask you for additional information. 

When you call Bothell Police 911 you may only speak with one dispatcher, but the entire team is answering your call.

Emergency Preparedness: 

If you're NOT currently experiencing an emergency, consider taking a few steps to prepare... just in case.

There are online videos to help limited-English speakers understand and be prepared for emergency calls in any English-speaking country.  

Many people who speak limited English have found the following video very helpful.