“This is 9-1-1, what is your emergency?”
BY SANDY MATHER Educational Services
Row of Burning Matches
●Think of at least two other situations where you would call 9-1-1 and write these down.
●Find someone who has had to call 9-1-1 in an emergency. Interview this person and find out "who, what where, when and why" about their emergency call to 9-1-1.
DID YOU KNOW?
●A fire department responded to a home fire every 87 seconds in 2009.
●Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
●On average seven people died in home fires every day during 2009.
●One-third of American households thought they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire would become life threatening. More often it is much less.
●About one in five smoke alarm failures was due to dead batteries.
When emergencies happen, you want to get help fast. That's why 9-1-1 was created. Dialing 9-1-1 on your telephone is the fastest way you can get help for yourself or someone else.
Years ago, people had to find the right phone number in an emergency. If there was a fire, people phoned the fire department. If there was a crime, people called the police. If someone got hurt, an ambulance had to be called. Finding a number for any of these emergency workers could be very confusing - especially if a person was in a hurry or did not know where they were calling from.
Today, it's as simple as dialing 9-1-1. With those three numbers, you can reach the fire department, the police or an ambulance. When you call 9-1-1, an emergency operator, called a dispatcher, immediately connects you to the person you need.
When should you call 9-1-1? Do NOT call 9-1-1 if someone dares you to call or if you've lost your dog.
Never call 9-1-1 as a joke or just to see what might happen. When the emergency dispatcher has to take the time to talk to people who don't have a real emergency, other people who call and do need help right away might have to wait.
Examples of situations when you should ALWAYS call 9-1-1 are:
- If your house or another house is on fire.
- If someone suddenly seems very sick and is having a hard time speaking or breathing or turns blue.
- If there's a car accident.
The best way to handle an emergency is to be prepared before one happens - know your own address and phone number. You know you should never give out your name, address and phone number to strangers, however, the 9-1-1 operator is different. The 9-1-1 operator must know exactly where you are and how to reach you. The firefighters, police or ambulance crew need to know where you are in order to help you. If you ever have to call 9-1-1, speak slowly and clearly and DO NOT hang up.