Preschoolers Knowing 9-1-1 is Saving Lives

There have been at least a couple of instances in the past week where children, 3 to 5 years old, have saved their parents' lives by dialing 9-1-1. Many say it is important to teach this life-saving technique.

Dispatch: Hello 911.
A.J. : Daddy needs help!
Dispatch: (Help!) Sir do you need an ambulance?
A.J: Right away! He's been hurt! You have to come! He really needs help!

This chilling 9-1-1 call from 3-year-old A.J. saved his dad's life after a chisel severed a main artery.

Wiregrass emergency responders say this isn't unusual, and that's why it's critical to begin teaching children the concept of 9-1-1 at an early age.

Emmanuel Christian School kindergarten teacher, Candi Rodgers says, "We learn that police officers keep us safe by using 9-1-1. If we have an emergency we're able to use that and have those people come to us quickly. “

“At first my daddy taught me when I was only 4. Then, my mommy told me when I was 5,” says 5-year-old Carmen Kitts. “You call someone whenever it's an emergency and then they'll come to your rescue."

Teaching preschoolers to dial three simple numbers could be the easy part. Emergency officials say that knowing when to call and crucial information like their address is also important.

Captain Chris Etheredege explains, "They don't need to use 9-1-1 unless it is a life or death emergency, and not to call 9-1-1 to make sure it works. It does indeed work.”

"Teach your children their addresses, their phone numbers, where they live, their grandmothers, their babysitters. If they know that we can get their faster," says 9-1-1 operator Patty Poole.

Communicating with a preschooler during an emergency call takes a special skill.

Poole says, “We have a lot of mothers work here. It’s just instinct. Talk to a child like you would your own.

If you are like a lot of people and do not have a land-line emergency responders recommend having a designated area for your cell phone in the home. That way your child doesn't have to search for it when there's an emergency.

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