3-1-1

In the U.S, 3-1-1 is the new non-emergency telephone number, meant to provide a quick, easy to remember, and universal alternative to 9-1-1. It is intended to connect callers to a call center, which can be the same as the 911 center, but with 311 calls assigned a secondary priority, answered only when no emergency 911 calls are waiting. This helps to extend the system so that true emergency calls are answered quickly, and callers are not left with ringing or busy signals.

Examples of calls intended for 311:

  • illegal burning
  • suspicious persons
  • debris in roadway
  • minor injuries

While implementation is still spotty, it has been assigned by the FCC for nationwide use, and it is likely that Canada and others in the NANP will adopt the standard as well.

See also: 2-1-1, 4-1-1, 5-1-1, 6-1-1, 7-1-1, 8-1-1


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