April is National 9-1-1 Education Month, and the National 9-1-1 Education Coalition (the Coalition) is encouraging public safety officials, schools, government officials and industry leaders to engage in this national effort to educate the general public about the importance and appropriate use of 9-1-1 services. To support this endeavor, the Coalition has launched the 9-1-1: The Number to Know awareness campaign to allow these entities to speak together with one voice while supporting specific 9-1-1 messages being promoted in the local community.
This monthlong campaign is designed to help citizens of all ages recognize the importance of 9-1-1 and their role when calling 9-1-1. Locally, Virginia Beach 9-1-1 urges you to help 9-1-1 help you with the following tips:
· Know where you are: Where are you right now? Could you tell 9-1-1 exactly where to find you?
· Stay calm and ready to listen: 9-1-1 is here to help you until help arrives. Be ready to listen and follow directions.
· Virginia Beach 9-1-1 receives more than 5,000 9-1-1 hang up calls per month. If you dial 9-1-1 and receive the queue message that 9-1-1 is “assisting other callers,” please remain on the line even if you have dialed 9-1-1 in error. When you hang up prior to speaking with a 9-1-1 call taker, a call back is attempted, which prolongs the time before the 9-1-1 call taker is available to assist the next caller.
o When multiple citizens are dialing 9-1-1 to report the same incident, call queues can increase. Again, please remain on the line, as information you provide may allow VB9-1-1 to update public safety first responders with information other callers were not able to provide.
Many groups, including the U.S. Congress and members of the Coalition, also recognize April as National 9-1-1 Education month and encourage the media, the 9-1-1
community, the wireless industry and public information providers to engage in 9-1-1 awareness and education activities this month. The Coalition has created a variety of resources for 9-1-1 professionals, public educators and citizens on its 9-1-1: The Number to Know website, www.know911.org.
The National 9-1-1 Education Coalition is a volunteer group of public safety, education and industry stakeholders formed to support the nationwide coordinated promotion of National 9-1-1Education Month and National Public Safety Telecommunications Week. Members of the Coalition are represented by the following organizations: E9-1-1 Institute, 9-1-1 for Kids®, 911Industry Alliance, Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO), CTIA—TheWireless Association®, National Academies of Emergency Dispatch (NAED), National Association of State 9-1-1 Administrators (NASNA) and National Emergency Number Association (NENA). For more information about the Coalition, visit www.ng911institute.org.