Seconds count during an emergency and it is important to contact 9-1-1 to get help during a fire, medical emergency or a crime. This is especially true for children. Sometimes, in the event of an emergency, it may be the best thing for children to tell their parents, a teacher, or another trustworthy adult right away. It may also be necessary to call 9-1-1 for help.
Here is what children need to know about calling 9-1-1 and how to provide the right information to get help FAST. You can also download our Kid's Brochure.
Know what 9-1-1 is
9-1-1 is the phone number you can call from any phone when you need help or you see someone who needs help from a police officer, firefighter or doctor right away.
Know when to call 9-1-1
You should only call when someone is hurt or in danger and you need a police officer, a firefighter, or a doctor. Do not try to text or IM 9-1-1. Do not attempt to obtain 9-1-1 assistance through social media programs or smart phone apps.
Know where you are
If you aren’t at home and don’t know the address where you are look around and try to find a street sign or a building with a name on it so that the 9-1-1 call taker knows your exact location.
Try not to be scared
When you call 9-1-1, you become the eyes and ears for the call taker. Help will get to you much faster if you stay calm and can tell the call taker everything that is happening and can answer all the call taker’s questions.
Know what happens when you call 9-1-1
When you dial 9-1-1, the person who picks up on the other end will be someone who works at a 9-1-1 center and whose job it is to help you. The call taker may ask you to help or ask you questions about what happened. It is important that you follow the directions as best you can. The 9-1-1 call taker will send someone to help you are and stay on the phone with you until everyone is safe. Do not hang up until the call taker tells you to.
Don’t hang up
Even if you called 9-1-1 by accident, it is important that you stay on the phone until the call taker tells you it is alright to hang up. It is the call taker’s job to make sure that you are OK and to send you the right kind of help. In situations where you aren’t able to talk or have to leave, keep the phone off the hook so that the 9-1-1 call taker can hear what is going on in the room.
Memorize important stuff about you and your family
Being able to tell the 9-1-1 call taker things like your address, your parents’ names, and your phone number will get help to you faster.