despp: 9-1-1 Education
Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection
despp: 9-1-1 Education

9-1-1 Education

 
9-1-1 Never Sleeps
 
Some people delay calling 9-1-1 in emergency situations because they “don’t want to bother anyone” or because they turn to family members first.  9-1-1 operators note that it is usually elderly persons who delay calling, particularly during nighttime emergencies, preferring to wait until morning to call.  Delay often complicates the handling of emergency situations. 
 

The 9-1-1 community hopes that education of the public in general, and elderly callers in particular, will result in timely use of 9-1-1 when emergencies arise.  The following article was prepared for distribution to the general public.  9-1-1 operators, police and fire personnel, and staff from several state agencies have contributed to this article.  We encourage you to share this article with the people you serve. 

Please feel free to contact our office for more information at (860) 685-8080.

  

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9-1-1 Never Sleeps

 

Scenario - The setting is an emergency communications center where 9-1-1 operators are answering 9-1-1 phone calls and sending help to callers.  It is 8:15 in the morning.

9-1-1 Operator:  “9-1-1.  What is the exact location of the emergency?

 

Caller:  “425 Pinewood Avenue in New Haven.  Unit 27B.”

 

9-1-1 Operator:  “What number are you calling from?”

 

Caller:  “555-1212”

 

9-1-1 Operator: “Tell me exactly what happened.”

 

Caller: My husband woke me up at about 4 a.m. and said he was having trouble breathing.  He didn’t want me to bother anyone because he thought it would get better but it’s much worse now.”


9-1-1 operators, also called dispatchers or telecommunicators, receive calls like this every day.  Some believe that this is because many elderly persons were raised to be self-reliant, or learned to call family members when there was a need.  In emergency situations, early intervention is critical.  Minutes, even seconds, make a difference.
 

Calling 9-1-1 gets a person the help he or she needs in the shortest time possible.  9-1-1 operators advise the public to call 9-1-1 and wait for help to arrive.  In medical emergencies, callers should wait for help rather than drive or be driven to a hospital or medical facility.   Not using 9-1-1 emergency services could put them at greater risk.  The 9-1-1 operator will give the caller instructions on what to do until help arrives.
 

9-1-1 operators, police, fire, and emergency medical staff are available 24 hours a day, every day of the year, including holidays, to respond to 9-1-1 calls.  9-1-1 operators stress the importance of calling 9-1-1 first for emergencies.  Calling family members first delays getting needed help.  Family and friends can always be called later. 


Here are some questions and answers to help you use 9-1-1 appropriately. 

Question #1:  When should I call 9-1-1? 

 

Answer:  Call 9-1-1 for emergencies!  An emergency is when immediate police, fire or medical assistance is needed to protect life or property.  Call 9-1-1

  • To report a crime
  • To report a fire
  • If you are injured or suddenly become ill
  • To report a missing person, particularly a child or elderly person who may be in danger.

Question #2:  When shouldn’t I call 9-1-1? 

Answer:  You shouldn’t call 9-1-1 to ask for the phone number for the town hall.  You shouldn’t call 9-1-1 to ask when the parade starts, or to complain about a neighbor’s loud music.  These are legitimate concerns, but are not emergencies.  Phone numbers for town offices are listed in the blue pages of the phone book and also can be found on the internet.  Police departments have phone numbers for non-emergency situations.  9-1-1 operators recommend keeping phone numbers for routine police matters near the phone.
 

Question #3:  What if I’m not sure if a situation is an emergency? 

Answer:  When in doubt, always call 9-1-1.  As part of their education, 9-1-1 operators are trained to determine whether a situation is an emergency or not. 

 

Question #4: Is there another number I can call for non-emergency information?

Answer:  Connecticut residents can call 2-1-1 (Infoline) for many different types of help.  Professional call specialists help callers with such complex issues as substance abuse, gambling, domestic violence programs, suicide prevention, financial problems, and much more.  The most frequently requested services are: Financial Assistance, Food, Protective Services, Legal Assistance, Child Care, Utilities, Heat, Social Support, Housing, and Mental Health.  Infoline’s staff is available 24 hours a day.

For more information about 9-1-1, contact the Division of Statewide Emergency Telecommunications (DSET) at (860) 685-8080.

This article was written by the 9-1-1 Accessibility Workgroup with representatives from:

 

Avon Police Department

Brookfield Police Department

Bureau of Rehabilitation Services

City of Hartford

Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired

Cromwell Police Department

Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection and the

Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security

Department of Social Services - Aging Services Division

Groton Emergency Communications Center

National Emergency Numbers Association - Connecticut Chapter

New Fairfield Emergency Communications Center

New Haven Department of Services for Persons with Disabilities

New Haven Emergency Response Center

Norwalk Police Department

Norwich Police Department

Trumbull Police Department

Westport Police Department

"9-1-1 Never Sleeps" - Article only



 
Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD)

The 9-1-1 community hopes that by sharing information about the Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) program, callers will have a better understanding of how they can help 9-1-1 help them when calling 9-1-1.  The following article was prepared for distribution to Health Care providers and to the public.  9-1-1 operators, police and fire personnel, and staff from several state agencies have contributed to this article.  We encourage you to share this.  Please feel free to contact our office for more information at (860) 685-8080.

                                   

When you call 9-1-1, haven’t you ever wondered, “What’s with all the questions?!  All I want is to get this patient to the hospital for treatment as quickly as possible.  I don’t have time for all of these questions.”

What’s with all those questions is that the Connecticut Legislature passed legislation which requires that all Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs or 9-1-1 Communication Centers) use a system called Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) for every medical call they receive. 

The EMD System is a series of questions which the 9-1-1 Telecommunicator asks the caller in order to determine: 

  • What the medical situation is 
  • If intervention is needed immediately (Don’t touch the down wire, pull the victim from the water).
  • What resources need to be dispatched (Fire, Police, EMS, Medic) 
  • How the resources should respond (Lights and Sirens or with the flow of traffic) 
  • If pre-arrival instructions need to be given to the caller (CPR, control of bleeding, child birth)

The EMD System is based upon a patient’s “signs and symptoms,” not upon specific diagnosis.    The Telecommunicator will ask questions like:

·        Address

·        Call Back number.

·        What’s the problem, tell me exactly what happened.

·        Age/Sex of Patient ( Sixties, seventies, teens, if exact age isn’t known).

·        Is the patient conscious?

·        Is the patient breathing?

 

Depending on the answer to the above questions, more specific questions may be asked.  When the caller is not with the patient or does not know the answers to the questions, it can generate a higher level of response and tie up resources unnecessarily.  It’s helpful to have as much information about the patient as possible when you call. 

 

While you are talking with the 9-1-1 Telecommunicator, the Telecommunicator is entering your information into the 9-1-1 system.  Based on the nature of the call, the Telecommunicator sends, or dispatches, the appropriate help.  In many instances, a second Telecommunicator dispatches help, based on the information entered into the system, while you are still talking. 

Some PSAPs transfer medical calls to another agency which will then conduct EMD.

Answering the 9-1-1 Telecommunicator’s questions allows for a quicker dispatch, provides patient information to the responding personnel and gets you the services you need in the least amount of time. 

 

If you would like more information about EMD or 9-1-1 operations, contact the Connecticut Office of Statewide Emergency Telecommunications at (860) 685-8080, or your town’s public safety answering point.


This article was written by the 9-1-1 Accessibility Workgroup with representatives from:

Avon Police Department

Brookfield Police Department

Bureau of Rehabilitation Services

City of Hartford

Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired

Cromwell Police Department

Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security

Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection

Department of Social Services - Aging Services Division

Groton Emergency Communications Center

National Emergency Numbers Association - Connecticut Chapter

New Fairfield Emergency Communications Center

New Haven Department of Services for Persons with Disabilities

New Haven Emergency Response Center

Norwalk Police Department

Norwich Police Department

Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities

Trumbull Police Department

Westport Police Department

 

August 2005

Emergency Medical Dispatch - article only

 
9-1-1 School Curriculum

To help the public safety officials teach school children about 9-1-1 use, representatives from several Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs, or 9-1-1 call centers) and this Office have developed curriculum for different grade levels. 

We encourage public safety officials to use, and if need be to adapt, this curriculum to meet the educational needs of their communities.

   Pre-K through Grade 1 Curriculum (pdf)

   Grades 2 through 4 Curriculum (pdf)