April is National 9-1-1 Education Month

Everyone knows that 9-1-1 is a universal number that should be called in the event of an emergency — or do they? 9-1-1 centers all over the United States have encountered hurdles when educating the public about 9-1-1 and its uses. That is why during the month of April, as part of National 9-1-1 Education Month, the Soldotna Public Safety Communications Center is committed to promoting 9-1-1 awareness and proper usage.

With all the advances in technology, 9-1-1 has become much more complex. What started out as a simple concept has grown into an amazing infrastructure that needs crucial attention.

Children and adults should have a good understanding of 9-1-1 and how it works in their area. There are many different levels of sophistication within the equipment and resources available at each 9-1-1 answering point.

Some general guidelines for 9-1-1 are:

■ 9-1-1 is for police, fire and medical emergencies.

■ Know the location of the incident. Providing an accurate address is critically important – especially when making a 9-1-1 call with your cell phone.

■ If you call 9-1-1, don’t hang up.

■ Don’t call 9-1-1 for jokes or prank calls.

■ When you call 9-1-1, pay attention to the questions that you are being asked.

■ Stay on the line with the 9-1-1 call taker and answer all questions. The more information they have, the better they can help you.

■ Stay calm and speak clearly.

■ Additional information and 9-1-1 resources is available at www.911kenaipeninsula.com

Information provide by Tammy Goggia, E9-1-1 Communications Center Manager, Soldotna Public Safety Communications Center.

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