911 Emergency Services: to contact police, fire or ambulance service in case of emergency, call 911. Spanish-speaking operators are available at all times. 911 operators can get immediate phone translation for almost any language, but you have to be able to tell them in English, what language you need. 911 is a free phone call from any pay phone.
311 Non-Emergency Services: Use 311 to report a non-emergency crime, or request for city services. If no one is in immediate danger and you haven't just witnessed a crime, use 311 instead of 911. Examples would be if your car was broken into when you weren't around, or if someone has illegally parked your car in and you need to have them towed so you can move your car. Spanish-speaking operators are available at all times. Operators have access to telephone translation services, but you have to be able to tell them in English, what language you need.
211 for Social Service Assistance: The 211 Info Line is a service of United Way that connects callers to 4500 social service providers in Southern California. For example, you can call 211 for runaway and homeless services, or to reach Traveler's Aid of Los Angeles. You can also call 211 to get help after a disaster, although you should still call 911 if lives are in danger. Spanish-speaking operators are available at all times. Operators have access to telephone translation services, but you have to be able to tell them in English, what language you need. 211 operators can also connect you to any international consulate in the LA area. Visit www.211la.org for more information.
Traveler's Aid Society of Los Angeles provides assistance to travelers in distress, including stranded travelers, runaways and homeless. They have an information booth at LAX and an office in Hollywood at 1720 N. Gower St., LA 90028. Services are only available during normal business hours and can be accessed by calling (323) 468-2500 or through the 211 operator. For more information visit www.tasla.org .
International Consulates: Call 211 to get connected to any international consulate in Los Angeles.
LA is an international city and most City and County service providers know how to access translation services when needed. However, there are times when you may find yourself in need of services from a doctor, hospital or other service provider where translation services are not available.
Obviously, if you are reading this, you speak some English, but if you feel like you do not speak English well enough to communicate in an emergency, or if someone traveling with you does not speak English, there are telephone translation services that you can access from any telephone with a credit card. It's a good idea to keep the relevant phone number in several places, with copies of your important documents. Fees are determined by the individual service providers. Some telephone interpretation services require that you register with them in advance.
AT&T USA Direct and In Language Service
TeleInterpreters 1 (800) 811-7881