Help 911 help you
As part of an month-long campaign, Rocklin Police and Fire are making sure community members know the importance of 911 and the role it plays in insuring effective and efficient emergency response in times of crisis.
“It is imperative citizens, businesses, schools, etc. have a firm knowledge and understanding of the 911 system and education of the 911 system, especially in the face of rapidly changing technologies,” said Jennifer Collins, Rocklin Police Department Records & Communications manager.
According to the National Emergency Number Association Web site, there are several tips for people using 911.
When to call 911
Dial 911 in emergencies only – if someone is hurt, in danger, or someone is in need of police, fire or medical assistance. If you’re not sure, it’s better safe than sorry – call 911 and the experts can make the decision whether to send help or not.
When not to call 911
You burned the dinner and guests are arriving any minute – that may seem like an emergency to you, but it’s not a public safety emergency, the Web site states. Calling 911 in non-emergency instances wastes resources and ties up the lines – leaving people in the midst of a real crisis on hold.
Where are you?
One of the most important pieces of information to give a 911 dispatcher is the location. Be as detailed as possible; if you don’t know the address, use landmarks or cross streets. If inside a building, let the dispatcher know what floor you’re on.
Don’t freak out
People calling 911 are advised to stay calm, as you are the eyes and ears to the dispatcher. Talking while crying or yelling can make it difficult for the 911 operators to hear and understand. The faster you answer all of the operator’s questions, the faster they can provide the best services to your location.
Never hang up
Ending the conversation abruptly may result in the operator assuming something has gone very wrong – they may send help anyway. Even if you call by accident or the situation resolves itself, don’t hang up.
Want more information?
A variety of associations and foundations provide 911 information on their Web sites:
The National Emergency Number Association: www.nena.org
The Wireless Foundation: www.wirelessfoundation.org
The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials International: www.apcointl.org
911 for Kids: www.911forkids.com
E911 Institute: www.e911institute.org
The National Association of State 911 Administrators: www.nasna911.org
– Lauren Weber