Wednesday, January 23, 2019

January Marks Human Trafficking Month


Even though we have come a long way in this world, we still are dealing with the horrible crimes that surround human trafficking. That is why January marks Human Trafficking Month and is a reminder that we are still fighting to get rid of these crimes from occurring and ultimately protecting all citizens from this happening to them.

What is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking is considered modern-day slavery and involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. People that become victims of human traffic are all genders, ages, races, countries, socioeconomic statuses and more- basically it can happen to anyone in a vulnerable situation such as people who might be homeless or young.
Human trafficking includes different types such as sex trafficking, forced labor and domestic servitude. With sex trafficking, victims can be forced, threatened, and manipulated by promises of love or affection to engage in sex acts for money. If a person is under the age of 18 and involved in a commercial sex act, then they are also a victim of human trafficking.

What Can You Do to Help?
Human trafficking is sadly everywhere and it’s important that communities come together to stop it. The Department of Homeland Security has a campaign called the Blue Campaign. It provides several opportunities for individuals and organizations to raise awareness about this serious issue.
They have posters, videos, and infographics you can utilize for free and download easily from their website to help raise awareness about human trafficking. They even have training, cards, pamphlets, and toolkits. On January 31st, you can participate in a Thunderclap, which is a way to raise your virtual voice about this important issue. You can find out more about that by visiting the Blue Campaign website.
Make sure you do your part to help stop these terrible crimes from occurring and spread the awareness message.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Some Important 2019 Resolutions from Cell Phone Sally


A New Year means a new chance to be more prepared and aware. When it comes to knowledge of emergency services, you can never be too prepared. That’s why Cell Phone Sally has put some tips together to start and continue your 2019 off on the right path!

Tips for a Successful Safe and Healthy 2019:

·      Always Know Your Location. The easiest way to do this is to be aware of your surroundings. Look for street names, landmarks and anything else that might help a 9-1-1 operator find where you are during an emergency. Practicing awareness is key!

·     Teach Kids for to dial 911 from a cell phone. Most children don’t not know how to dial 911 in case an emergency happens. Make sure to teach them to push the 911 numbers and then the green send button. Or most smart phones now also have a button on the main screen that says emergency and children can use this to dial 911 by pushing the green button after pushing the numbers 911.  

·       Be prepared for any emergency. Do you have an emergency plan in place for your family? If you don’t, now is the time to make a plan. It could be a matter of life or death. Visit www.ready.gov for all the ins and outs on disaster preparedness!

·       Be aware of unsafe products and recalls. Keep your family safe from potentially dangerous products. You can find out about unsafe products at this website: http://www.cpsc.gov/

·       Get Involved in Health and Wellness! It is important to keep your family healthy and a great website for ideas on staying fit is right here: http://health.discovery.com/

·       Know the number to Poison Control Services! Not sure if you can mix certain medications? Having an allergic reaction to something and not sure if you should go to the emergency room? Get bit by a spider and not sure if it is poisonous? All of these questions can get answered and more- fee of charge! So memorize this number and save it in your phone: 1-800-222-1222. Visit their website here for more info on poison control issues: http://www.poisoncontrol.org/

These are just a few tips to ensure your new year will be the best it can be! And as always, remember- if you are ever in an emergency and need help, please do not hesitate to dial 9-1-1!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Holiday Safety Tips from Cell Phone Sally


Holiday safety is important for many reasons- from keeping your family and belongings safe to also keeping your family injury-free throughout the holiday season.
Compiled below is a list of safety issues that will help put your mind at ease if implemented!
Holiday Shopping Safety
·         Keep all doors locked and windows closed when you are away from your vehicle. This will help prevent thieves from easy access to your valuables.
·         Never leave your car unoccupied while it is running. (And as a reminder, don’t leave children unattended in the car either for their safety too)
·         When leaving your vehicle, make sure all valuables are out of sight. If you have to leave something in your car, put it in the trunk.
·         Always remember to wear your seatbelt and practice cautious driving, especially if road conditions are bad.
·         Never drink and drive.
·         If you are involved in an accident, please do not hesitate to contact 9-1-1 for help.
Fire Safety
·         Keep candles, matches and lighters out of reach of children.
·         Never leave burning candles unattended.
·         Do not burn candles near flammable items.
·         Check and clean the chimney at least once a year.
Tree Safety
·         Decorate the tree with kids in mind; move ornaments that are breakable or have metal hooks toward the top of the tree.
·         Always use a proper step ladder when putting decorations up high.
·         When putting up lights, make sure there are no exposed wires, loose connections or broken sockets.
·         “Angel hair” which is mad
e from spun glass, can irritate eyes and skin so always wear gloves to protect yourself from this.
Poison Safety
·         Decorating the home with festive plants around this time of year is very popular. But some of these plants have berries that can be poisonous if enough are ingested. The most common are mistletoe berries, holly berries, poinsettias, and Jerusalem cherry. Please keep these out of reach of children.
·         Did you know if you swallowed a button battery, it could potentially explode in your stomach? If swallowed and undetected, the batteries can do serious damage to the gastrointestinal system. Keep these batteries out of reach of children. And if a child does ingest it, call poison control at 1-800-222-1222 for immediate help. 
·         When playing and spraying artificial snow, make sure not to inhale the contents as it could irritate your lungs.
Travel Safety
·         Use a designate driver when driving to and from holiday parties. And again, never drink and drive.
·         When traveling, make sure everyone buckles up!
·         Keep maintenance on your vehicle and keep an emergency kit with you.
·         Make sure all your doors and windows are locked in the home before leaving.
·         If you have an alarm, make sure to turn it on while you are out of town.
·         Have a neighbor or family member watch your house, pick up your mail and even park in your driveway periodically, if possible.
·         Leave a radio or television on so the house sounds occupied.
·         Make sure expensive items or gifts in your home are not visible through windows or doors.
·         If you have a Christmas tree, make sure it is placed in water or wet sand to keep it fresh.
Whether you stay home this holiday season, or you travel to see loved ones, we hope you all have a safe and jolly time. And remember, if you ever find yourself in an emergency situation, please do not hesitate to call 9-1-1 for help.

To view some holiday cyber security safety tips, check out this video!


Friday, November 30, 2018

Kari’s Law Resources and What You Need to Know


In 2016, Kari’s Law was signed in Texas. This means that businesses with multi-line telephone systems (MLTS), also known as PBX phones, must now provide direct access to 9-1-1 without having to dial an additional digit such as 9. Texas is not the only state that has adopted a Kari’s Law- Illinois, Tennessee, Maryland and New York City have as well. More states are working on their own version and this year (2018) President Trump signed a federal Kari’s Law into law.
Kari’s Law represents a culmination of efforts in the aftermath of the tragic murder of Kari Hunt. For those who do not know the story, Kari Hunt met her estranged husband in a motel room in Marshall, Texas with their kids. During the meeting, Kari’s husband attacked her in the bathroom and ultimately killed her. Kari’s 9-year-old daughter attempted to dial 9-1-1 multiple times and was unable to get through because the hotel phone required you to dial a 9 first to get an outside line. By the time help was able to arrive, it was sadly too late.
Since Kari’s death, her father Hank Hunt has made it his mission to educate the public as well as elected officials across the U.S. about the important need to change all MLTS phones to provide direct access to 9-1-1. It is important that businesses comply with this law. You can find more information about this law and how it works at www.texas911.org.
The Commission on State Emergency Communications (CSEC) has created a PSA to bring awareness to the law. There is also a toolkit available to assist 9-1-1 educators and coordinators with their efforts in educating businesses and the public. The toolkit includes a media release template, a brochure, a list of business outreach opportunities and a letter template to send out to business service users (BSUs) who have MLTS phones. You can find the toolkit here. Utilizing the toolkit can help in ensuring compliance efforts.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Tips and Tricks for Having a Spooky Good Time this Halloween!

Halloween is a time of year when children can dress up as their favorite characters, get lots of candy from neighbors and practice safety. Below are some tips from Cell Phone Sally on how to have a happy Halloween as well as a safe and smart holiday:

·         Always buddy up when trick or treating. Walk in groups with a trusted adult.

·         Avoid costumes that are too dark. Light and reflective clothing is best. Fasten reflective tape onto costumes and bags to help drivers see you.

·         Wear costumes that are also “flame-resistant”; most costumes show this labeled on them. If you make your own costume, use flame resistant fabrics such as polyester or nylon.

·         Try and stay away from costumes that utilize masks and instead op for make-up and hats to dress up your costume.

·         Utilize costumes or bracelets that have reflective material so that vehicles can see you in the dark.

·         Make sure to examine all the candy when you get home. Check for any choking hazards or candy that has been tampered with. And don’t eat too much candy when you get home- it could make you sick to your stomach.

·         Parents of young children should remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts and hard candies, or even small toys from Halloween bags.

·         Take a flashlight with you to help guide your way in the dark and to make you more visible to vehicles.  

·         Always look both ways before crossing the street. Cars move fast so be aware of your surroundings.

·         Never under any circumstances accept a ride from a stranger.

·         Carry a cell phone with you to make sure you can contact help in case of an emergency.

·         If you are ever in an emergency situation, please do not hesitate to contact 9-1-1.

 

Stay safe this Halloween and have a spooky good time!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Check Your Smoke Alarms and More during Fire Prevention Week

This week (October 7-13, 2018) marks Fire Prevention Week and the theme this year is “Look. Listen. Learn. Be Aware. Fire can happen anywhere.” During this time, it’s important to review where fires have the most potential of occurring as well as testing your family’s escape plan, and making sure your fire alarms are working properly.

LOOK for places a fire could start
This week is a good time to do an assessment of your home and identify potential fire hazards and address them. Cooking is one of the leading causes of home fires. Leaving cooking unattended is the leading cause of home fires. Here are some tips to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

·         Remove clutter from cooking areas such as papers, small towels or oven mitts.

·         Always keep a close eye on what you are cooking. You should always stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling or broiling food. If you have to leave the kitchen for something, make sure to set a timer so you do not forget about whatever you might be cooking.

·         Always be alert! Cooking while you are sleepy or under the influence of alcohol or any other substance is incredibly dangerous.

Heating is the second leading cause of U.S. home fire. Issues such as failing to clean heating equipment properly is the leading cause of home heating fires. Below are some additional tips to safely heat your home in the winter months.

·         Have chimneys and heating equipment cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional yearly.

·         Make sure to keep anything that can burn easily at least three feet away from heating equipment such as furnaces, fire places, wood stoves and portable space heaters.

·         Always make sure you turn space heaters odd when you leave the room or go to sleep.

Another big cause of fires is candles. If you use candles in your home, ensure that you blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Keep candles away from items that can burn and use candle holders that are sturdy and won’t turn over easily. And never burn candles all the way down- put them out before they get too close to the holder or container.

LISTEN for the sound of the smoke alarm
Smoke alarms are the first line of defense in helping alert people of a fire so that they can get out safely. By having smoke alarms in your home, you cut your risk of dying by a fire in half. At minimum, install a smoke alarm on every level of your home, in each bedroom and near all sleeping areas. Test your smoke alarms regularly and replace smoke alarms that are more than 10 years old.

LEARN two ways out of every room
When a fire is happening, you may only have minutes or even seconds to escape safely. Practicing how to safely escape your home will help you immensely when you find yourself in this emergency situation.

Make sure to develop an escape plan with all members of your family. The escape plan should include:

·         Two ways out of every room, usually a door or a window.

·         A path to each exit to an outside area.

·         Most importantly, an outside meeting place a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet and be accounted.
Practicing your escape plan twice a year will ensure you are prepared for any fire emergency. For more information on fire safety, visit www.nfpa.org. Remember, if you find yourself in a fire emergency, call 9-1-1 for help immediately and get to safety!

Friday, September 7, 2018

9-1-1 TC Spotlight: Mariah with Woodland Park PD

1. Tell me a little bit about yourself: Where are you from, what agency do you work for, how long have you been there?

My name is Mariah, I work for the Woodland Park Police Department (WPPD), I have worked for WPPD for 7 months now.

2. I’m sure you hear a lot of interesting stories when answering calls, but what is one story that sticks out in your head that might have been scary, but turned out funny and/or everything worked out after the call.

Recently I received a call from a mother, her child had just started college and indulged in a handful of illegal narcotics. While under the influence this party had come to believe that he was a vampire and took a walk through the woods while carrying his laundry basket.

3. What do you think people need to know about the people who answer the phones for 9-1-1?

We enjoy baked goods just has much as the Police Officers *wink wink*.

4. What do you enjoy most about your job and why?

I enjoy how interesting and off-the-wall some days can be.

5. What do you think is the hardest part about working your job and why?

I always want to do my absolute best and never make a mistake, but I am unfortunately human, so, the hardest part for me is making a mistake.

6. Why do you think it is important for people to have 9-1-1 as a resource for emergency help?

It’s a way to quickly and efficiently get someone the help they need.

7. If you could share one piece of advice with the world regarding 9-1-1, what would it be and why?

9-1-1 is for emergencies only. To ensure that true emergencies are tended to as soon as possible call your local Police Department’s, or Sheriff’s office administrative number for non-emergencies.

8. If you were talking to kids graduating high school who were not sure what field that wanted to go into, what would you tell them about your job and why it is such a fulfilling and worthwhile job?

I chose my job because I have always known that I have wanted to help people, I just wasn’t sure in which capacity. I knew being hands on with a patient or victim (such as being a Nurse or Paramedic) wasn’t something I wanted to do. I would tell those that are about to enter the workforce to reflect on their strengths and find out what inspires them, make a list of the jobs that match both criteria’s, and apply…apply everywhere.