National 9-1-1 Education Month
Posted at 2 p.m.
The National 9-1-1 Education Coalition recognizes April as National 9-1-1 Education Month. This year’s theme is “Be 9-1-1 Ready.”
Here’s a few key things to remember when calling 9-1-1:
- Know Where You Are: Where are you right now? Can you tell 9-1-1 exactly where to find you?
- Use a Landline: Whenever possible, use a landline to call 9-1-1. Cellphone calls aren’t always routed to the closest call center and the time it takes to transfer your call to the call center is important in an emergency.
- Stay Calm and Ready to Listen: 9-1-1 will stay on the line to help you until help arrives. Be ready to listen and follow directions.
- Never Hang Up – Even if you called 9-1-1 by accident, or if you think the problem has gone away, it is important that you stay on the phone until the call taker tells you it is alright to hang up. It is the call taker’s job to make sure that you are OK and that help has gotten to whoever needs it. In situations where you aren’t able to talk or have to leave, keep the phone off the hook so that the 9-1-1 operator can hear what is going on in the room. Most times, they will be able to use the computers at the 9-1-1 Center to find your address.
Fairfax County’s 9-1-1 Center is the primary 9-1-1 public safety answering point for Fairfax County, as well as the City of Fairfax and the towns of Herndon and Vienna. The center provides the dispatch for all units of the Fairfax County Police Department and Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, including the City of Fairfax Fire Department and the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office.
Fairfax County’s 9-1-1 Center – located at the McConnell Public Safety and Transportation Operations Center (MPSTOC) and collocated on the operations floor with call takers and dispatchers from Virginia State Police and the Virginia Department of Transportation – is one of the 50 largest in the U.S. and the largest in Virginia. Call takers and dispatchers in Fairfax County answer approximately 2,200 calls for assistance daily; some 830,000 annually from the public, both 9-1-1 and non-emergency.
For more information about 9-1-1 Education Month or the county’s 9-1-1 Call Center, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/911.