Do your kids know how to call 911?

Sure, she can talk on the phone. But could she call 911?

Where you live has a lot to do with the threats you and your family members face. But there is one situation that we can all assume will happen. And one skill that we all need to master.

We all need to know how to call 911!

Right now, think of the kids in your life – neighbor kids, nieces and nephews, pupils, grandchildren. Can they all answer all these questions?

Turn this into a game and test children before school starts!

Set up an imaginary emergency.

With the help of your child, set up an imaginary emergency right in your living room. For example, a family member has fallen, broken an arm, there’s blood, etc. (Obviously, make the “emergency” something appropriate and not too complicated.)

Play act the 911 phone call.

The child calls 911 (pretend only). You take the part of the 911 Operator.

A real 911 Operator may have a slightly different set of questions, but they are likely to include ones similar to what you’re reading here.

Start by asking . . .

  1. What do we do if there is an emergency? (“Call for help.”)
  2. What telephone number do we call if we need help? (“911”)
  3. Who do you think answers that number? (“The 911 operator, the police”)

Now, conduct the call. As operator, you pose the questions and the child answers.

  • “What is your emergency?” (This is the exact question our operators ask. I’ve called more than once.)
  • “What has happened? What help do you need?” (Child describes the emergency you came up with.)
  • “What is your name?” (Be sure your child gives a FULL name – first and last.)
  • “What is your address?” ( Note: Cell phones aren’t necessarily accurate for pinpointing location. )
  • “What is your phone number?” (The connection could be lost, so the operator needs this info.)  
  • “What is the name of the person who needs help?” (First and last name)
  • “What does the person who needs help look like?” (Age, hair, clothing, etc.)

End the call this way.

  • “OK, help is on the way. Here’s what I need you to do. STAY ON THE LINE WITH ME. DO NOT HANG UP. I will tell you when to hang up.”

Now, I know you may think this is just too simple.  

But what you don’t know is that I am a school crossing guard! I interact with hundreds of children throughout the year. And I learn every kid’s name.

At the beginning of the year many children do not know their full names. Most children do not know their home address. Hardly any children know a single phone number by heart! (Frankly, their parents don’t know numbers, either . . . but that’s a different Advisory.)

In an emergency, these children are at a big disadvantage.

There is no reason for YOUR children not to be able to Call 911, answer questions like those above, and get help.

Please give them this important skill as soon as you can.

Your Emergency Plan Guide team

P.S. If you accidentally call 911, do not hang up. Stay on the line and explain there is no emergency. If you don’t do that, the dispatcher will call back to check, and even send a police car to check. You certainly don’t need for that to happen!

Day 29 of Summer Vacation: A time for some shorter and lighter Advisories as a welcome change-of-pace!

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