ST. GEORGE – The month of April is 9-1-1 Awareness Month and it’s the perfect time to review when to use this important link to emergency assistance. Emergency response begins with the appropriate use of the system. For every non-emergency or inappropriate call to 9-1-1, emergency services personnel are diverted from assisting those most in need, so it’s important that the 9-1-1 system is used appropriately.
For many, they have never needed to dial 9-1-1. However, the need could come for anyone at anytime and it may not just be an adult who makes the call.
When instructing young people, be sure to stress when it is and is not appropriate to call. Curiosity can overrule common sense at times so taking some of the mystery out of what happens will help to avoid wandering fingers on the phone keypad. Have them pretend to call for help and then ask them the questions that communications personnel would ask in an emergency. Questions such as “what is the emergency?”, “Where do you live?”, “Is anyone hurt?” These are some of the questions they will be asked if calling 9-1-1 and will help us send the right type of assistance for their emergency.
Children aren’t the only ones who should be educated in 9-1-1 usage. Many adults use the system for incidents that did not require an emergency call. Keep in mind that for every non-emergency call placed through 9-1-1 that is one more call taking up the time of communications personnel who could be handling real emergency calls for help.
Use it, but use it wisely!
9-1-1 for kids
· Learn your address and telephone number
· Know when and when not to call 9-1-1
· Practice speaking slowly, listening carefully to the questions asked and answering them as accurately as possible.
The RIGHT use
– Police, fire and medical emergencies
– In-progress crimes
The WRONG use
– Non-emergency crimes that are not in progress
– Road conditions
– Weather reports