If there's one thing more important than our children's education, it's educating them in the ways of safety. With a new school year once again underway, there will inevitably be a number of youngsters - so-called "latchkey children" - who will find themselves fending for themselves at least a part of the day, as they get home from school before their parents get home from work. But it's not only the latch-key kids who can benefit from advice from EComm, the regional emergency communications centre that coordinates dispatches through 9-1-1 calls.
Scan with "It's so important for kids to know what to do during an emergency," said Cameron MacPherson, E-Comm fire call-taker. "Kids can save lives; they just need the right tools and knowledge to be able to get the help they need during an emergency. Dialing 9-1-1 can seem pretty scary when you're young and feeling frightened. We want children to know that we're here to help." Kids especially need to know that a 9-1-1 emergency means that you need the police, ambulance or fire department right away. Call 9-1-1 straightaway if you feel scared or are in danger. Always call 9-1-1 if you or someone else is really sick or hurt, you smell or see smoke or fire, or someone is doing something bad, like hurting someone.
When you call 9-1-1, try to stay calm and answer the operator's questions clearly. Always do what the 9-1-1 operator tells you and stay on the phone until you are told it is okay to hang up.
Parents need to ensure their kids know where the phone is, and how to make a 9-1-1 call - and that calls should not be frivolous. Practice with an unplugged land-line phone.
Visit our website at www.mrtimes.com and click on Opinion to find further EComm advice on 9-1-1 and its role in keeping kids safe.
More information from E-Comm:
9-1-1 press release offers safe advice from E-Comm
9-1-1 saves lives: do your kids know how to make the call?
E-Comm urges parents to make 9-1-1 education part of back-to-school preparations.
Today marks the first day of a new school year and as children head back to the classroom, E-Comm, the regional emergency communications centre, is reminding parents and caregivers about the importance of teaching children how and when to use 9-1-1.
“It’s so important for kids to know what to do during an emergency,” says Cameron MacPherson, E-Comm fire call-taker. “Kids can save lives; they just need the right tools and knowledge to be able to get the help they need during an emergency. Dialing 9-1-1 can seem pretty scary when you’re young and feeling frightened. We want children to know that we’re here to help.”
Take a few minutes to go over the following tips with your children or those in your care. Regardless of age, knowing how and when to use 9-1-1 saves lives.
9-1-1 tips for kids:
• A 9-1-1 emergency means that you need the police, ambulance or fire department right away.
• You should call 9-1-1 straightaway if you feel scared or are in danger.
• Always call 9-1-1 if: you or someone else is really sick or hurt, you smell or see smoke or fire, or someone is stealing or doing something very bad like hurting someone.
• When you call 9-1-1 the operator will ask where you are and what is happening. Try to stay calm, speak clearly and do your best to answer their questions. Help is on the way.
• Always do what the 9-1-1 operator tells you and stay on the phone until you are told it is okay to hang up.
9-1-1 tips for parents/caregivers:
• Ensure children know where your phone is located - keep cordless phones fully charged and located in the same place at all times and is easily within reach for your child. You don’t want them to have to search for a phone in an emergency or be unable to reach it.
• Teach children your address and keep that information close to all phones. Remember that landlines provide exact location information (addresses) to 9-1-1 but cellphones provide general location information only and never include unit numbers in the case of high-rises or condominiums.
• Remind older children that you can’t text or tweet 9-1-1. The only way to reach 9-1-1 in Canada is through dialing a phone.
• Remind your children that they should only call 9-1-1 if there is a true emergency.
• It is important for parents to know that in the event of accidental/prank calls 9-1-1 operators will call back and in many cases will send police when location is known.
• Role-playing what to do in emergency situations helps kids understand what to do and when to call. You can find examples of the kinds of questions 9-1-1 staff will ask on our website.
• If you would like to practise dialing 9-1-1 with your children always unplug landline phones or turn off cellphones prior to letting them dial to avoid making an accidental call.
If English is a second language:
• Teach your children the English word for the language they do speak (e.g., learn to say “Cantonese”).
• Teach your children to say the words “police,” “fire” and “ambulance” in English.
• Teach your kids how to say their address in English.
• Remind children that even if they speak a little English that is often all an operator needs to collect information and send help.
• E-Comm has a 24-hour interpretation service available in more than 170 languages.
E-Comm has a variety of free 9-1-1 educational materials available for order for parents, caregivers, teachers and children of all ages living in Metro Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast, Whistler, Squamish or the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District. Visit ecomm911.ca to place your order. E-Comm’s 9-1-1 educational materials are also available to download online at ecomm911.ca.
E-Comm 9-1-1 answers almost one million 9-1-1 calls each year for Metro Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast, Whistler, Squamish and the southern portion of the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District, provides dispatch services to more than 30 police and fire departments, and operates the wide-area radio network used throughout Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley by police, fire and ambulance personnel.
@ Copyright 2013