​​Teaching Children About 9-1-1

As parents and teachers, we all want to do all we can to keep our children safe. Part of that task is educating them on how to respond when they see or find themselves in dangerous situations. One of the best ways to do that is to teach them how to call for help using the 9-1-1 system.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Virginia Beach Emergency Communications and Citizen Services offers several tools that you can use when teaching children how to call 9-1-1.

 Cell Phone Sally

Cell Phone Sally is an animated character who is featured in the video, "9-1-1: Getting Help Is Easy." Sally and her friends teach children how to call 9-1-1 using the various types of telephones available today, how to talk to 9-1-1 operators, and when one should or should not call 9-1-1.

The City of Virginia Beach has invested in a Cell Phone Sally character costume for appearances at special events such as parades, meetings, or fairs that your organization may be planning. If you would like to have Cell Phone Sally make an appearance at your event, please email her at CellPhoneSally@VBgov.com , or fill out the form found here.

Would you like to contact Cell Phone Sally and ask her some questions about what to do in case you ever have an emergency? Email her at: CellPhoneSally@VBgov.com. You will receive an official Cell Phone Sally response to your email. You can even ask her about when she will next be appearing in your area.

Remember, Cell Phone Sally wants you to know, "In an emergency, getting help is easy...just call 9-1-1!"


 Getting Help Is Easy

9-1-1 is the number to call when you need help in an emergency! An emergency is when something happens and you need the police, firemen, or an ambulance. For example, if you see your neighbor's house on fire, that is an emergency!  If someone falls down and is badly hurt, that is an emergency too!  But, if your cat is stuck in a tree, that is not an emergency.


9-1-1 is not the number to use if you just need help from an adult or for pets.  9-1-1 should only be used in a real emergency and never as a joke!


How to Call 9-1-1

It's easy! Cell Phone Sally can teach you how to call 9-1-1 from all kinds of phones.

When to Call 9-1-1

  • When lives are at risk
  • When you need the police, fire department, or ambulance

When to Not Call 9-1-1

  • When there is no emergency
  • For animals (except when they pose a threat to the safety of a person)
  • As a game or prank
  • For a joke
  • To practice

What to Do When 9-1-1 Answers

  • Remember to stay calm and speak slowly.
  • Tell the 9-1-1 call taker what's wrong and where you need help.
  • Speak up loud and clear when the 9-1-1 call taker asks you questions.
  • Stay on the phone until the 9-1-1 call taker tells you to hang up.

If you ever need to call 9-1-1, a friendly call taker is ready to help you.  Just remember that 9-1-1 is for emergencies only - never as a joke!