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Preparing kids for calling 9-1-1

9-1-1 is the number you should call in case of an emergency. You should call 9-1-1 if you need help from police, the fire department, or an ambulance.

When you should call 9-1-1

You should call 9-1-1 immediately if:

  • There is a crime and you need the police
  • There is a fire and you need firefighters
  • Someone is seriously hurt or not moving and you need an ambulance or medical help

You should NEVER call 9-1-1 as a joke or a prank. There can be serious consequences if you call 9-1-1 as a joke.

How to call 9-1-1

When an emergency happens, follow these steps:

  • Stay calm

  • Make sure you know the address and location of where the emergency is happening

  • Find a phone and dial the numbers "9 1 1"

  • Wait for someone from the 9-1-1 center to pick up

If you are using a landline phone instead of a cell phone, make sure it is plugged in. When you pick up the receiver, make sure you hear a dial tone before you dial 9-1-1.

Remember: Never practice calling 9-1-1 on a real phone. Only use a real phone for emergencies.

What you should say when you call 9-1-1

When the 9-1-1 operator picks up, you should:

  • Stay calm

  • Speak clearly

  • Listen carefully to the operator's questions

  • Follow all the operator's instructions

  • Give as much information about the emergency as you can

  • Remember that the operator can't see you, so make sure you tell them everything that is important and answer everything with words (instead of nodding or shrugging)

  • Do not hang up until the operator says you can

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