Be prepared when calling 9-1-1
In an emergency, calling 9-1-1 can save your life and being prepared to speak to the operator could make the response time even quicker in a life-or-death situation when minutes can make all the difference.
In 2008, Congress first recognized April as National 9-1-1 Education Month, according to the National 9-1-1 Education Coalition, an alliance of eight national organizations dedicated to advancing public safety communications who have joined together to advance 9-1-1 education.
Knowing when to call and what to expect when you phone 9-1-1 can help reduce fear and feelings of helplessness in an emergency.
According to Know 9-1-1.org, the following are tips when calling the 9-1-1 operator:
• When calling 9-1-1, one of the first things you’ll be asked to provide is the location of the emergency you are reporting. The call taker may not automatically know your location or may ask you to confirm it. Also, cell phones may not automatically tell 9-1-1 where you are. You should always know where you are and be able to tell the 9-1-1 operator exactly where to find you. Always be aware of your surroundings.
• Don’t text to 9-1-1 because your local 9-1-1 center may not be able to accept text messages, photos and video. A voice call continues to be the best way to reach 9-1-1.
• Whenever possible, use a landline to call 9-1-1. Cell phone calls aren’t always routed to the closest call center and it takes time to transfer your call to the call center.
• Always stay calm and ready to listen. 9-1-1 is there to help you through until help arrives. Be ready to listen to the operator and follow their directions.
• Tell the call taker the location of the emergency. Provide landmarks such as cross streets and mileposts.
• Lock your keypad when you’re not using your phone, so 9-1-1 isn’t dialed by mistake. For the same reason, don’t put 9-1-1 on speed dial.
• Do not give old phones to children as toys. A wireless phone with no active service can still call 9-1-1.
• If you accidentally call 9-1-1, stay on the line and tell the receiver that you do not have an emergency.
9-1-1 is the right number to call in an emergency when a prompt response is needed. But remember, 9-1-1 is for emergency use only. If you dial 9-1-1 for a non-emergency matter, you are tying up resources that could be needed in a real emergency. It is only appropriate to call 9-1-1 when you need to save a life, stop a crime or report a fire.
Fore more information and tips on how to use 9-1-1, visit the http://know 9-1-1.org.
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