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Three-Digit Service Lines

Have you dialed 911 in an emergency?

Did you know there are other three-digit service lines for Washington State?


First implemented in 1968, 911 is an example of an N11 code, part of the North American Numbering Plan. N11s are three-digit shortcuts to reach special community services. These numbers are set aside by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and operated by the provider of the service. Let’s break down the N11 codes in our area.


9-1-1 Emergency Services


In Pierce County, calling 911 will connect you to our local dispatch center, South Sound 911. What you may not know is that you can also text 911 from a cell phone or other messaging device. Primarily intended to increase accessibility to those with communication barriers, it’s also useful for times when callers cannot access regular telephone service or need to be more discreet. Sometimes a text will go through when a regular cell phone call will not.

9-8-8 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

Implemented in July 2022, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a network of more than 200 state and local call centers supported by the US Department of Health and Human Services through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). When this number is called or texted, the caller will be routed to one of Washington’s three mental health crisis centers. Contact 988 at any time to get help for yourself or a loved one dealing with thoughts of suicide, a substance use crisis, or any other type of emotional distress. You don’t need to give any personal data and most calls stay confidential. Fewer than 2% need to be transferred to emergency services.


2-1-1 Shelter Assistance and Community Support

211 connects callers, at no cost, to critical health and human services in their community. The comprehensive resource database that 211 provides connects individuals to vital services guiding them to the most appropriate assistance program (over 30,000 current listings).


8-1-1 Call Before You Dig

Starting a project that involves some digging? The only way you can be sure that you are digging safely is to Call 811 Before You Dig and request a free location map of underground utilities. At least two business days before you plan on digging, call 811 or visit Be sure to provide the following information: where you're planning to dig and what type of work you will be doing. The Utility Notification Center is open 24 hours a day, every day, and accepts calls from contractors, homeowners, or anyone planning to dig in Washington.

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