If you have an emergency, dial 9-1-1 to send for law enforcement, fire department, or an ambulance. Your call will first be answered by a dispatch center in the order in which it was received, so do not hang up even if you are put on hold. If you call from a landline within the RSFFPD your call will be answered by San Diego County Sheriff Department disptach; if you call from a cell phone your call will be answered by the California Highway Patrol dispatch.* If it is determined that your incident requires the fire department or an ambulance, your call will be transferred to a North Comm dispatch.
The North County Dispatch Joint Powers Agency (NCDJPA), or more commonly referred to as NorthComm, is the emergency dispatching organization for nine local fire agencies - Rancho Santa Fe (including Elfin Forest/Harmony Grove), Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, North County, Oceanside, San Marcos, Solana Beach, and Vista - as well as the Rancho Santa Fe Patrol. They will ask a series of questions to determine the type of emergency, where the emergency is located, etc. They will then use the information to send the appropriate emergency personnel to the incident. Because they are in contact with multiple surrounding agencies, they are able to send the closest available units, even if the units are from a neighboring agency. Do not hang up while on the phone with 9-1-1 until told to do so as they may need to ask you more information to pass along to responding units so they know what to expect when they arrive on scene. They may also have instructions for the reporting party, including how to perform CPR, if needed.
* If you call from a cell phone, be prepared to give your address or as specific an address as possible to the dispatcher. Contrary to popular belief, dispatch centers are unable to determine your location. When the local CHP dispatch center is busy, it is possible your call may be answered by non-local CHP dispatch center by a dispatcher that is unfamiliar with the area. Be as specific with your answers to their questions as possible.