An article last week in this newspaper posed the following questions: What if the Chappy Ferry can’t run? What if someone needs immediate care and emergency services are unavailable? What happens in the worst of situations? What if it’s too windy to land a helicopter?

The answer has always been — and still is — dial 911. The emergency number used to be 693-1212, but not anymore. The highly sophisticated 911 system is fully functional here on the Islands now.

We here at 911 have lots of ways to get you off of Chappaquiddick. There are a variety of back-up plans if the ferry can’t safely operate on the regular route between the ferry slips. The ambulance service, fire department, police department, sheriff’s department and harbormaster all work together to provide emergency evacuation from Chappaquiddick come hell or high water or high winds. We are always watching the weather to make sure that we are prepared before a problem arises.

On a regular basis, if a street flooding tide is predicted or foreseen, an ambulance is brought over and stationed at the Chappy firehouse. Ambulances are expensive and they last longer if you don’t drive them through salt water.

When vehicle traffic will be curtailed for any reason, an extra fire truck is stationed on Chappy. The highway and police departments have sent dump trucks and cruisers over as well. Most of the time when the ferry stops regular service because of stormy weather, we can still operate for life-or-death emergencies. We won’t expose the ferry boat to great risks so that you can go to town for coffee and a newspaper, but we will if you need to get to the hospital.

We have done hands-on drills for different scenarios of getting emergency personnel over to Chappy and victims back from Chappy. Some plans involve landing the ferry at alternative sites or using vessels from the harbormaster and fire department. You don’t need to be coming up with your own escape plan. You might actually end up in even more trouble. Leave it to the professionals at 911 to put a plan into action to rescue you.

The folks at 911 are very capable and very dedicated. One call does it all! Who are you going to call to get a helicopter at a moment’s notice? Actually, that would be 911!