Chief Robert Kalamaras and the Fairfield Police Department would like to share guidelines and tips in regards to accessing help in the midst of an emergency during National 9-1-1 Education Month.
According to the National Emergency Number Association, around 240 million calls are made to 911 each year in the United States. 9-1-1 Education Month is recognized across the country to conduct outreach and educate community members on 911 resources and practices.
“Education about the proper use of the 9-1-1 line is imperative for the safety of our residents and efficacy of our operators,” Chief Kalamaras said. “When used properly, 9-1-1 is a life-saving tool. We encourage all residents to familiarize themselves with the tips listed below in case they ever need to contact 911 during an emergency.”
In order to make sure residents can access help in an emergency, Chief Kalamaras is providing the following safety tips from the National Association of State 911 Administrators (NASNA):
Reach 9-1-1 Via Phone OR Text
Text to 911 is available throughout the State of Connecticut, and Chief Kalamaras wishes to remind residents that 911 through messaging is an alternative to a typical phone call.
Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, are having a medical emergency and cannot speak on the phone or in a situation where speaking is not possible can benefit from using messaging services to reach emergency services. If possible though, a traditional voice call is the best way to reach 911.
To contact emergency services by text message, simply enter 9-1-1 in the “To” field of your mobile device and then type your exact location and a brief description of what kind of help you need. Once you hit send, respond to any questions you’re asked and follow the instructions given. Residents should note that at this time, 911 can only receive text messages in English.
If Text-to-911 is temporarily unavailable, you should receive a message indicating this, plus instructions on how to contact 9-1-1 by other means. If you do not receive any replies from 9-1-1, try to contact 9-1-1 another way.
Know Your Location
With wireless calls, 911 operators can locate callers, but more information may be needed in order for emergency services to find exact locations. Be prepared to provide detailed information on your location to assist the 911 operator.
Stay Calm and Don’t Hang Up
Unless instructed to do otherwise, you should stay on the line when calling 9-1-1 in order to provide necessary information to the 911 operator. Even if you accidentally dial 9-1-1, you should stay on the line and inform the operator that there is no emergency and that you dialed accidentally. While on the phone, please answer the telecommunicator’s questions. They are trying to determine whether or not there is an emergency or if someone is in need of assistance.
In order to learn more about NASNA and their efforts to improve emergency response through supporting 911 education and awareness, click here.
About National 9-1-1 Education Month
April is designated as National 9-1-1 Education Month, recognized by the United States Congress in 2008. According to NASNA, it aims to support the efforts of the National 911 Education Coalition through the promotion of resources and materials that help to educate about the optimal use of 9-1-1 services across the country.