An Opportunity to Educate Your Readers, Listeners and Viewers about Critical 9-1-1 Issues That Affect Us All
WASHINGTON - March 18, 2016 - PRLog -- April is National 9-1-1 Education Month, and April 10-16 is National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. This presents an opportunity to help educate the public about important 9-1-1 issues, and to recognize the selfless work that 9-1-1 professionals perform for us.
The better educated your viewers are about 9-1-1, the more likely we all will be to receive rapid, effective emergency help in our hour of need.
Here are some story ideas:
LOCAL 9-1-1 HEROES: Practically every community has 9-1-1 call takers who have calmly and professionally saved the day in recent dangerous situations. These stories make for excellent "feel-good" features and provide a means of both educating the public about relevant issues and honoring these unsung heroes of public safety.
· The Public Safety SmartBrief is a free news service with an extensive archive of such stories.
· www.ThankYou911.org provides a vehicle for the public to say "thanks" to 9-1-1 professionals and contribute financially to education and wellness programs.
NEXT GENERATION 9-1-1 (NG911): In many communities, the 9-1-1 system is still geared to the era of copper wires and landline phones. NG911 is an emerging set of standards for an Internet-Protocol-based system enabling voice and multimedia communications between a 911 caller, the 911 center, and responders in the field.
· Policy advocacy: The leading 9-1-1 groups in the nation recently launched a new effort to accelerate deployment of NG911 technology and phase out legacy systems by the end of 2020.
· Among the hottest 911 tech topics are:
o Texting to 9-1-1 (under development in many areas but not yet not available in most);
o Issues related to multi-line telephone systems in hotels and large buildings;
o Cyber security; and
o Wireless-phone location accuracy, which remains far short of the ideal.
· Whenever possible, dial 9-1-1 from a landline phone; it may help responders find you faster.
· If you call from a wireless phone, get ready to mention a specific address, landmark, or a highway mile marker.
· Texting to 9-1-1 may be coming soon but it is not yet available in most areas.
WACKY 9-1-1 STORIES: Another way to approach the issue is to talk about inappropriate 9-1-1 calls, such as a caller dialing 9-1-1 because her husband "wants her to hook up with his sisters"; a caller inquiring about the score of a basketball game; a woman calling to report people feeding ducks in the park; and many more. Your on-air talent could mention that such callers may cost others their lives or property by distracting time and resources from real emergencies. Misuse of 9-1-1 is also considered a criminal offense in many states.
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National 9-1-1 Education Month is Approaching
March 18, 2016 at 10:30 AM EDT