Things Kids Need to Know to Be 9-1-1 Ready!

When there is an emergency, the best thing to do is to alert an adult.  But what if there isn’t an adult available?  In that case, you may have to call 9-1-1 for help.  Here are some things you should know right now, in case you ever have to report an emergency:

What is 9-1-1?  9-1-1 is the phone number you can call from any phone to report an emergency.

What’s an emergency?  An emergency is a situation that requires the police, firefighters, or an ambulance.  Here’s an easy way to remember when to call 9-1-1:  Call 9-1-1 to save a life, to stop a crime, or to report a fire!

What happens after you call 9-1-1?  A call-taker working at one of Vermont’s Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) will answer your call.  It is the call-taker’s job to help you.  They will ask questions to find out where you are and to learn more about the emergency you’re reporting.  It is important for you to stay on the line, listen carefully to the call-taker, and answer their questions.  The call-taker can send help even when they are still talking to you on the phone.

Don’t hang up too soon!  Even if you called 9-1-1 by accident, or if you think the problem has gone away, stay on the phone until the call-taker tells you it’s ok to hang up.  In situations where you aren’t able to talk or have to leave, keep the phone off the hook so the call-taker can hear what is going on in the room. 

Know your phone.  Do you have more than one type of phone in your home?  Many people have cell phones, portable phones and curly-cord phones.  Each type of phone works a little differently, so make sure everyone in your home knows how to use each type.

Memorize important information.  Learn your address, phone number, and your parent’s first and last names.  The 9-1-1 call-taker will ask you for this information.  Knowing the important information about who you are and where you live can help the emergency responders get to you more quickly.

Know your location.  If you’re not at home and don’t know the address where you are, look around for a street sign or a store or business with a name on it so you can tell the call-taker and they can locate you.

Keep your cool.  When you call 9-1-1, the call-taker will rely on you for information about the emergency.  Stay calm and answer all of the questions.  Help will arrive as soon as possible!