Education & Outreach

If you would like for a Natchitoches Parish 9-1-1 representative to speak to your civic or church organization you may call 318-357-8300.

What is 911?
9-1-1 in its most basic form is a simple and easy “number” used to report emergencies. The idea for 9-1-1 first came about in 1957, when the National Association of Fire Chiefs wanted to establish a nationwide number for people to use to report fires. Over the next decade, various associations, recommendations, and congressional debates determined that a single number for reporting all emergencies made more sense than having a different number for each type of emergency. The system's creators choose "9-1-1" for a few of reasons: It is short, it is easy to remember, and it had not already been assigned as an area code or any other telephone-related number.

Natchitoches Parish 9-1-1 Funding
Natchitoches Parish 9-1-1 does not receive funding for its operations from any general government fund source. All of the funds used to maintain, operate and provide enhancements to the 9-1-1 services in Natchitoches Parish are derived through telephone surcharges which are assessed to users of telephone services. These rates were established in 1999 and have remained static until August 1, 2016. During the 2016 legislative sessions, the Louisiana legislature granted rate increases to every 9-1-1 district in Louisiana. The new surcharge rates went into effect on August 1, 2016 and will appear on your monthly telephone bills are as follows; Residential telephone 9-1-1 surcharge is $1.07, Business lines $2.50, and Wireless (cell phones) $1.25.

How Does 9-1-1 Work In Natchitoches Parish?
There are two primary ways to access 9-1-1 in Natchitoches Parish.

  • Wire line telephone – These are telephones that are actually “plugged” into a telephone jack in your home or business.

  • Wireless telephone – These are cell phones and phones that use wireless technology.

If you dial 9-1-1 from a location within Natchitoches Parish, but outside the City of Natchitoches, using a wire line telephone, your call is automatically routed to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office dispatch center. The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office dispatch center serves as the primary public safety answering point (PSAP) for Natchitoches Parish, and the call takers and dispatchers, who work in this dispatch center, will answer your call.

If you dial 9-1-1 from a location within the City of Natchitoches, using a wire line telephone, your call will be automatically routed to the Natchitoches Police Department dispatch center. The Natchitoches Police Department dispatch center serves as the secondary public safety answering point (SPSAP) for Natchitoches Parish and the call takers and dispatchers, who work in this dispatch center, will answer your call.

If you dial 9-1-1 using a wireless (cellular) telephone from anywhere in Natchitoches Parish, your call will be automatically routed to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office, which serves as the primary PSAP for Natchitoches Parish.

What information should I be prepared to provide when I call 9-1-1?

When you call 9-1-1, you will be asked if you have an emergency. Generally, a situation is considered an emergency if it will require that public safety agency personnel be sent to the scene.

Why do they ask me where I am?

This is probably the most important information you can provide as a 9-1-1 caller, so try to be aware of your surroundings. Make a real effort to be as detailed as possible. If you are outside and don’t know the street address, look around and try to find landmarks or cross streets. If you are inside a large building or one with multiple levels, you can help emergency services by letting them know which floor you are on, which apartment you are in, etc. The most important information that will be needed is your LOCATION . If you are calling from a wire line telephone, the emergency call taker will likely have the address that you are calling from displayed on a computer screen in the dispatch center. However, you will be asked to verify that information to ensure that the system information is current and correct.

You will be asked to describe your situation. This is very important so that the emergency call taker can determine exactly what type of emergency you have and better determine what public safety personnel to send to you for assistance.

When should I call 9-1-1?

You should call 9-1-1  any time that you feel you have an emergency!! Public Safety agencies in Natchitoches Parish are ready around the clock to be of assistance. But, never  abuse the 9-1-1 system by attempting to make a false or prank call. It’s simply not worth the price you may pay for abusing the system…..

When should I NOT call 9-1-1?

Do not call 9-1-1 for routine questions (for example; "When is the power going to be back on?, or "How are the roads?" or "Do you know what time the parade is going to start?", “What’s the weather doing now?”, “Was anyone hurt in that wreck out on …?, etc.). Do not call 9-1-1 to get a copy of a police or fire report and do not call 9-1-1 to inquire about the status of someone in jail.

What if I call 9-1-1 by accident?

You may have called 9-1-1 by accident, or your situation may have resolved itself, but it is important to let the 9-1-1 operator know this. If you end the call abruptly, the folks at the 9-1-1 center may assume that something has gone very wrong and may either call you back or send help anyway. This will take away from the 9-1-1 center’s ability to take other calls and provide services to on-going emergencies, so make sure that the 9-1-1 call taker tells you it is ok to disconnect before you hang up. In addition, keep in mind that the call taker can dispatch responders to your location without disconnecting from the call, so, until you are instructed to do otherwise, make sure to hold the line so that you can provide any necessary additional information or assistance to the 9-1-1 operator.

How can I help Public Safety personnel find me if I have an emergency?

Public safety personnel cannot help you if they can’t find you! BE SURE THAT YOUR ADDRESS IS CLEARLY DISPLAYED ON YOUR MAILBOX, AT YOUR DRIVE, AND ON YOUR RESIDENCE IN A MANNER THAT CAN BE SEEN EVEN AT NIGHT OR IN POOR WEATHER CONDITIONS! If possible, have someone standing by to assist emergency responders arriving at your location. At night, turn on a porch light to help emergency responders find you. And, it’s always a good idea to have a spare key available in a safe place or with a neighbor, relative, or trusted friend in the event that you are unable to provide access to emergency responders at the time of an emergency.

Natchitoches Parish Emergency Outdoor Warning System:

The Natchitoches Parish Emergency Outdoor Warning system consists of 19 sirens placed strategically throughout the Parish as an early warning device to alert citizens outdoors of imminent severe weather or other emergencies. The outdoor warning siren system is an effective method of outdoor notification, but the Natchitoches Parish Communications District recommends that you have multiple ways of receiving warnings and notifications. It is best to have more than one way to be warned of potential dangers.

Developed as an early warning system for severe weather and other threats to persons outdoors, the system should not be totally relied upon for early warning to individuals indoors where air-conditioning, thunder, wind, rain, and other conditions can cause the sirens not to be heard indoors. You should take advantage of numerous ways to receive emergency warnings and notifications such as via weather radios and monitoring local radio and television stations. If you are outdoors and hear a siren, you should seek shelter immediately as the threat may be in your immediate area. The outdoor warning sirens are used to provide an added layer of warning in the event of a severe threat to the area.

System Activation:


The outdoor warning sirens for any or all of the towns, Villages, and communities in Natchitoches Parish are activated when the National Weather Service issues a “Tornado Warning” or when a local determination is made that a tornado or other severe threat exists to the area.. This determination is based on the evaluation of all available information. This may include, but is not limited to, National Weather Service watch and/or warning text, weather radar and reports from trained weather spotters or by public safety officials in the event of a non-weather related event. If the outdoor warning sirens are heard at any time, seek shelter or follow audible instructions and tune in to local radio and television, or your NOAA weather radio for instructions and information. It is important to remember that any thunderstorm can produce a tornado with little or no warning. When a tornado warning is issued or you hear the outdoor warning sirens, take the following immediate safety precautions.

In homes or small buildings: Go to a pre-designated safe area such as the basement (if available) or to an interior room on the lowest level, such as a closet or bathroom away from windows, doors, and outside walls. Upper floors are unsafe. If there is no time to descend, go to a closet, a small room with strong walls, or an inside hallway. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy protection (heavy table or work bench), cover yourself with some sort of thick padding (mattress, blankets, etc.), and use your arms to cover your head and neck to protect against flying debris.

In schools, hospitals, factories, or shopping centers: Go to interior rooms and halls on the lowest level. Stay away from glass enclosed places or areas with wide-span roofs such as auditoriums and warehouses. Crouch down and cover your head and neck. Centrally located stairwells are good shelter.

In cars or mobile homes: ABANDON THEM IMMEDIATELY! Most deaths occur in cars and mobile homes. If you are in either of those locations, leave them and go to a substantial structure or designated tornado shelter.

If no suitable structure is nearby: Lie flat in the nearest ditch or depression and use your hands to cover your head. Be alert for flash floods!

Emergency Outdoor Warning System Locations
City of Natchitoches (7 Locations)
Cloutierville Elementary/Jr. High School
Fairview Alpha Elementary/Jr. High School
Goldonna Elementary/Jr. High School
Marthaville Elementary/Jr. High School
Provencal Elementary/Jr. High School
Village of Natchez
Village of Robeline
Village of Clarence
Town of Campti
Village of Powhatan
Village of Ashland

The Natchitoches Parish Outdoor Warning System is a partnership endeavor between the following:
Natchitoches Parish Communications District
Natchitoches Parish Police Jury
Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office
Natchitoches Parish Fire Districts
City of Natchitoches
Natchitoches Parish School Board


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