Yes, you can, sometimes.

There was a time when, if you called for emergency assistance, you called the nearest police or fire station and waited for them to show up.

Then, along came a devoted number, 911, which eliminated lost time figuring out which station was yours and what their number was.

Eventually, that system was modified to read your number and location. The system can even make some decisions for you as far as who responds to you.

911 works from anywhere in the U.S. while other countries use different numbers.

What if you call them and then change your mind? Say the burglar you thought you heard breaking in turned out to be the neighbor's cat or, the family member who was choking managed to cough up the problem.

A good friend recently called 911 about what appeared to be an explosion of some sort.

Upon further examination, it turned out to be harmless and that's what prompted the question about canceling emergency calls. By then, the sirens were already closing in so it became a moot point.

Side note: Apparently, explosives are a big deal. Everybody showed up - police, fire, ambulance, state troopers, MP's, feds ... you name 'em, they were there.

Anyway, if you somehow rectify the problem, there's no longer a need to tie up vital services. Right? In many cases, you can call back and have them forget the whole thing.

There is no charge for calling or canceling, nor are there any financial penalties.

In some situations, say domestic abuse, the police will still come no matter what you say after the initial call. If you thought the neighbors were going at it and it turned out to be a loud tv or, a really crappy band rehearsal, you won't be penalized for calling.

You just can't "uncall" in that case. The same goes for your own, personal, domestic violence report so don't report one just to try and scare someone thinking you can call it off later.

There are other instances in which you can't have them forget about it, that's just one example. Again though, better safe than sorry so, there's no penalty for a needless call.

If dialing 911 was a straight-up accident, to begin with, don't hang up. Just tell the operator it was a mistake and answer whatever questions they ask. If you do hang up, they will call back. They have caller ID, remember? When they do, ANSWER IT. Then, explain the error and "no harm, no foul" as the saying goes.

Unless you intentionally make fraudulent calls or false accusations. Then, you bet 'yer buns there's a penalty and the system doesn't play in that regard. They can be pretty stiff, read more here.

You can also read the Texas penal code itself, with regard to this issue, by clicking here and here.

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