NARRAGANSETT – Chief Sean Corrigan and the Narragansett Police Department would like to share guidelines and tips for accessing help in an emergency during National 9-1-1 Education Month.
According to the National Emergency Number Association (NENA), about 240 million calls are made to 9-1-1 each year in the United States.
April is designated as National 9-1-1 Education Month, recognized by the US Congress in 2008. 9-1-1 Education Month is recognized across the country to conduct outreach, educate community members on 9-1-1 resources and practices , and share the successes and challenges of the emergency communications system.
To help community members learn how to access help in an emergency, the Narragansett Police Department provides the following safety tips from NENA:
Reach 9-1-1 by phone OR text
Text-to-911 is available throughout the state of Rhode Island, and the Narragansett Police Department wants to remind community members that texting 9-1-1 is an alternative to a typical phone call.
People who are deaf or hard of hearing, who have a medical emergency and cannot speak on the phone, or who are in a situation where speaking is not possible can benefit from using messaging services to reach emergency services. However, if possible, a traditional voice call is the best way to contact 9-1-1.
To contact emergency services via text, simply enter “911” in the “To” field on your mobile device, then enter your exact location and a brief description of the type of help you need while keeping the text message under 140 characters. When you press submit, answer the questions you are asked and follow the instructions.
If SMS-to-911 is temporarily unavailable, you should receive a message indicating this, plus instructions on how to contact 9-1-1 by other means. If you do not receive a response from 9-1-1, try contacting emergency services in another way.
Know your location
With wireless calling, 9-1-1 operators can locate callers, but more information may be needed for emergency services to find exact locations. Be prepared to provide detailed information about your location to help the 9-1-1 operator ensure that help can get to you as quickly as possible.
Stay calm and don’t hang up
Unless instructed otherwise, you should stay on the line when calling 9-1-1 to provide necessary information to the operator.
Even if you accidentally call 9-1-1, you should stay on the line and inform the operator that there is no emergency and that you made the call accidentally. While on the phone, please answer the telecommunicator’s questions. They are trying to determine whether or not there is an emergency or if someone needs help.