What is the difference between 911 and 311?

What is the difference between 911 and 311?


While it may seem confusing to have two different numbers to call, the 911 and 311 hotline system is actually simple and effective once the differences are understood.

The 311 hotline helps the caller reach the appropriate governmental department to take care of non-emergency public problems. 311 will forward your report to the correct department. Since the creation of 311, the 911 number is not as overused. This has allowed for efficient response to emergencies that require immediate attention such as medical or fire emergencies. The differences between 311 and 911 are summarized below. Both have translators available for over 160 languages.

To reach a translator for 911 or 311, stay on the line until a person answers the phone and begin speaking your language of choice. You may be put on hold for a few minutes while they reach a translator. Do not hang up while waiting for a translator.

Call 911 for:

Emergencies such as:

Life-threatening medical problems



Crime in progress

Drug activity

Information on crime


Call 311 for:

Non-emergency municipal services such as:


Illegal dumping and litter

Potholes and broken sidewalks

Fallen trees

Broken streetlights

Unsafe housing conditions

Abandoned properties and vehicles

Much more!