Tuesday, September 25, 2012

September is National Cholesterol Education Month

Too much cholesterol is never a good thing and if you have too much in your blood, it could easily lead to a heart attack or stroke. In order to prevent these risk factors, it is important to stay informed about your health and learn how to detect cholesterol and treat it when it is found.

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that your body actually needs, but if you have too much of it in your blood, it can build up walls in your arteries. When that occurs, it can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Two out of three adults have high cholesterol which is why it is so important to learn how to prevent it now.
There are actually two kinds of cholesterol: high density lipoprotein (HDL) and low density lipoprotein (LDL). While HDL is known as the “good” cholesterol, LDL is not. It is recommended that adults aged 20 years or older should have their cholesterol checked every five years. For those under 20 years old, you still need to take precautions so that your cholesterol does not end up affecting your health or life.
Screening is actually the key to detecting high cholesterol because high cholesterol does not have any symptoms. So in order to know if your cholesterol is good, make a doctor’s appointment where they will do a simple blood test to find out the results. But what are some things you can do to be proactive regarding your health and cholesterol? Here are a few healthy lifestyle changes that are sure to help:

*Eat a healthy diet that is low in salt, low in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol.
*Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
*Maintain a healthy weight.
*Don’t smoke
*Take at least one brisk 10-minute walk, three times a day, five days a week.

If you think you might be having a stroke or a heart attack, do not hesitate to dial 9-1-1 for emergency assistance. For more information on cholesterol and your health, visit: http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/win/info/cholesterol.pdf

Monday, September 17, 2012

9-1-1 Songs, Catchy Tunes that Educate and Boost Morale

Throughout the United States, songs have been written to commemorate or pay tribute to the 9-1-1 community. These songs not only have an impact on the 9-1-1 community, but the public as well due to their recognition of unspoken heroes including fireman, police and 9-1-1 call-takers, to name a few.

Trish Murphy located in Austin, Texas created the Cell Phone Sally song for the video “9-1-1: Getting Help is Easy”. Trish explains that she got the inspiration for the 9-1-1 song from thinking of her childhood and growing up with Sesame Street and PBS.
Trish was instrumental in creating the 9-1-1 song and helping the 9-1-1 community get information out to younger generations in a fun informative way that is both catchy and memorable.

“I hope this generation of youths will grow up with that song in their heads and have the information handy if they ever need it,” Trish said.
Trish collaborated on the song with her brother and together they created the lyrics, song structure and tune. While Trish sings, her brother plays all the instruments, a total of 10 that are utilized in the song. The song, which is both well received by both children and adults alike, is not only catchy but fun to listen to as well. Trish has also collaborated with her brother on another song for a cause.
“I’ve worked with my brother singing some cool pieces he’s written for academic use in Texas,” Trish said. “It’s incredible how he can make the laws of geometry singable!”

The Cell Phone Sally tune is not the only 9-1-1 song that has made an impact in the 9­-1-1 community. A song called Everyday Heroes is a tribute song to first responders composed in 2010 by Dave Carroll who himself was a volunteer firefighter. Another 9-1-1 song called Lifeline is a tribute song to 9-1-1 call takers written by Houstonite Robert Smith whose uncle was a 9-1-1 supervisor.
Whether you are a parent, teacher, or public educator, using these 9-1-1 songs to help educate the public is undeniably a great tool. What better way to make a difference than by creating a catchy tune that will stay with the public for years to come?
The Commission on State Emergency Communications and 911safety.org are making available for download the song “9-1-1: Getting Help is Easy.” Both the English and the Spanish versions are available at: http://www.csec.texas.gov/educational-resources/kids-resources/911-public-education

Monday, September 10, 2012

September is National Preparedness Month

September marks the month where we are all reminded to be prepared for emergencies and put in simple practices to make our lives more manageable. Cell Phone Sally would like to encourage everyone to make it a point to be prepared in case of an emergency through four simple steps.  
First, be informed about the different types of emergencies that can happen in your area and their appropriate responses. This includes learning about the hazards that may strike your community, the risks you face from these hazards and your community’s plans for warning and evacuation. You can obtain more on this information by visiting http://www.ready.gov/be-informed.
Second, put a family emergency plan in place. It is important to plan in advance so that your family knows the roles they play in dealing with an emergency. Remember to think about how you will contact one another, how you will get back together, and what you will do in different situations. You can easily download a family emergency plan template by visiting http://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan.
Third, put together an emergency supply kit and have it handy so you can find it during emergency situations. Things to include in the supply kit would be food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least three days. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours, or it might take days which is why you want to have plenty of food and water to survive on. In addition, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment, and telephones may be cut off for days, or even a week or longer. To find a complete checklist of the supplies your household may need in the event of an emergency, visit http://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit.
Lastly, make an effort to get involved in emergency preparedness. You can do this by visiting www.CitizenCorps.gov to find local Citizen Corps Councils. You can also look into USAonWatch (Neighborhood Watch) groups, Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT), Fire Corps programs, Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) programs, and Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) units. Ask them what you can do to prepare yourself and your community for disasters and how to get involved locally.
And as always, Cell Phone Sally wants to remind you that if you are ever involved in an emergency, do not forget to contact 9-1-1 for help.
This link is just for kids! http://www.ready.gov/kids

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Spanish Version of Cell Phone Sally Video Now Available Online

Since the online release of “9-1-1: Getting Help is Easy“ posted earlier this year, featuring Cell Phone Sally, more individuals have had the opportunity to view and utilize it in classrooms and outreach events. The Commission on State Emergency Communications is excited to share with you the news that the Spanish version of the DVD is now available for online viewing as well!
This 10-minute video plays a very important role in public education by reaching even more citizens, as well as helping to empower children and adults alike about 9-1-1 safety. By having it available in Spanish online, we are now able to provide life saving resources to an additional population group.
“9-1-1 public education is key for audiences of all languages.  Being able to provide the Cell Phone Sally video to our Spanish speaking citizens will greatly help our efforts,” Susan Rodriguez of the City of Plano said. “Having our citizens understand when to call, how to call and what to say when they call 9-1-1 is vital.  Having the tool available online in Spanish will further assist in this endeavor to reach a wider audience.”
9-1-1 public educational efforts throughout the country are put into place to not only help our communities stay educated about 9-1-1 safety, but also to make sure the 9-1-1 centers run as smoothly as possible. A more educated community means that the 9-1-1 center will receive calls from people who are better prepared to answer the questions the call-taker will be asking and provide for an efficient handling of the 9-1-1 call.
Having access to the Cell Phone Sally video online is also convenient for our public educators. It helps provide them as well as others with resources that educate children on how they can play a role in getting help during a 9-1-1 emergency.
“If we can provide this video to the teachers it will be great,” Connie Chavarria of the City of Laredo said. “Another great place to make use of this resource would in the community centers, Boys and Girls Clubs, or the after school programs where the kids also have access to the computers. This will be a big plus.  We will definitely be using it in our presentations to show it to them as well.”  
Below is a link to our Spanish and English versions of “9-1-1: Getting Help is Easy.” Check it out and get better educated today!