911 is a nationally recognized emergency number to contact police, fire or ambulance services. It provides an easy number for people to call when they have an emergency to report or need emergency assistance. Check to make sure 911 is available in your area. When talking about 911 or teaching your children about 911, make sure you pronounce the numbers individually; nine - one - one. Some people refer to it as 9-11 (nine-eleven) and it becomes confusing to children when there is not an eleven on the phone dial.