9-1-1 Laws in Iowa

Last Updated: Monday, 15 August 2016 Published: Monday, 15 August 2016

34.2 911 SERVICE

After July 1, 1986, when 911 service is established in a service area each public agency, public safety agency, and private safety entity serving territory within the service area shall participate in providing the 911 service. The 911 service shall be established according to a written plan which has the written approval of the governing bodies of each public agency, public safety agency, and private safety entity serving territory within the 911 service area.

This chapter does not prohibit or discourage participation in or the provision of 911 service covering the territory of more than one public agency, public safety agency, or private safety entity. A system established pursuant to this section may serve the territory of more than one public agency, public safety agency, or private safety entity or may include a part of their respective territories. Public agencies, public safety agencies, and private safety entities may enter into agreements under chapter 28E to provide 911 service.

The digits "911" shall be the primary emergency telephone number within the 911 service areas established under this section. A public safety agency or a private safety entity whose services are available through a 911 system may maintain a separate secondary backup number for emergencies, and shall maintain a separate number for nonemergency telephone calls.

A 911 system shall be capable of transmitting requests for law enforcement, fire fighting, and emergency medical and ambulance services to a public safety agency or agencies that provide the requested service at the place where the call originates. A 911 system may also provide for transmitting requests for emergency management, poison control, suicide prevention, and other emergency services. The public safety answering point shall be capable of receiving calls from deaf and hard-of-hearing persons through a telecommunications device for the deaf. Conferencing capability with counseling, aid to persons with disabilities, and other services as deemed necessary for identifying appropriate emergency response services may be provided by the 911 service. A public safety answering point may transmit emergency response requests to private safety entities.


1. A person who reports or causes to be reported false information to a fire department, a law enforcement authority, or other public safety entity, knowing that the information is false, or who reports the alleged occurrence of a criminal act knowing the act did not occur, commits a simple misdemeanor, unless the alleged criminal act reported is a serious or aggravated misdemeanor or felony, in which case the person commits a serious misdemeanor.

2. A person who telephones an emergency 911 communications center knowing that the person is not reporting an emergency or otherwise needing emergency information or assistance commits a simple misdemeanor.

3. A person who knowingly provides false information to a law enforcement officer who enters the information on a citation commits a simple misdemeanor, unless the criminal act for which the citation is issued is a serious or aggravated misdemeanor or felony, in which case the person commits a serious misdemeanor.


An emergency communication is any telephone call or radio transmission to a fire department or police department for aid, or a call or transmission for medical aid or ambulance service, when human life or property is in jeopardy and the prompt summoning of aid is essential. A person who fails to relinquish a telephone or telephone line which the person is using when informed that the phone or line is needed for an emergency call or knowingly and intentionally obstructs or interferes with an emergency call or transmission commits a simple misdemeanor.