Monday, April 29, 2013

May is Global Youth Traffic Safety Month

Each May youth across the nation come together to focus on one of the leading causes of death for teens which is traffic related crashes. Global Youth Traffic Safety Month was created to empower teens to create and teach each other by utilizing traffic safety education projects and by supporting local law enforcement in protecting teen drivers. Sadly, teenagers are involved in three times as many fatal car crashes as all other drivers. Many of these fatalities are preventable which is why public education is so important.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) founded the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) which is a collaboration of business, organizations and federal agencies that serve youth as well as focus on youth safety and health. Together they have created many programs that focus on educating youth on traffic safety including a website for parents and teen drivers called UnderYourInfluence (, a toolkit called YOUTH-Turn that helps teens turn adversity into constructive opportunities, and Global Youth Traffic Safety Month which dedicates a whole month to educating the public on safe driving tools.

According to NHTSA, more than 3,500 teen lives are lost each year. During the summer months, the numbers of lives lost are the highest. Traffic education is crucial now more than ever. This year, NOYS is focusing on bike safety, teen drivers and pedestrian safety. Help young drivers in your area have the safest summer they can by following these key steps!

Ø  Just Drive: Avoid all distractions – they can wait!

Ø  Always Buckle Up

Ø  NEVER drive impaired or ride with anyone else who is!

Ø  Plan your Route and your Ride: Always take the safest way and ride with safe drivers.

Ø  Stand up for your own Safety: Speak up and get out if you need to!

For more information on Youth Traffic Safety Month, visit And remember if you are ever in an emergency situation then do not hesitate to call 9-1-1.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Student Television Network creates PSAs for 9-1-1 Public Education

Recently, the Commission on State Emergency Communications had the Student Television Network (STN) create a series of 30-second Public Service Announcements (PSAs) on 9-1-1 public education topics. Students in high school and middle school from across the nation got together in groups and were given only two hours to create a PSA. 20 different entries were received and each one was creative in its own way!

By collaborating with partners who can help you with expertise, you are on your way to increasing the resources you have available for 9-1-1 outreach. Our partnership with STN not only allows their students to have productions that can be used in our community to help educate and save lives, but it also gives the students a great addition to their portfolio.
Their efforts are just one example of how simple it is to create a PSA that can have a lasting effect on the community. The students utilized video cameras and other equipment to complete their video production, but for public educators with small budgets, it doesn’t need to be a major investment. All you need is a smart phone or tablet to create a PSA video that everyone will love. Through PSAs, public educators can convey messages regarding 9-1-1 such as knowing your location, when to call 9-1-1 and what to say and do when you call 9-1-1. Whether you are teaching a new 9-1-1 concept that people are not familiar with or one that they need to know in a state of panic, we all need to be reminded the importance of how and when to use 9-1-1. That is why public education is so important- because it reminds people what to do in case they ever find themselves in an emergency situation. We can never be too knowledgeable about 9-1-1 services.

Remember these key points when it comes to making a PSA:
-You can make it cost effective

-A little effort goes a long way and can impact much of the community through social media (Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Blogs)

-You don’t need a fancy camera or high tech editing equipment to create a great video that can convey your message

-You can get ideas from others who have created their very own PSAs at our YouTube site:

Below, you can see some of the students PSAs. Check them out and get inspired!

Here is a link to our second set of PSA videos:

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Celebrate National Public Safety Telecommunicators Appreciation Week 2013

Every year, the second full week of April is recognized as a time to celebrate and appreciate telecommunicators across the nation. Telecommunicators are individuals who work for an emergency service provider (usually 9-1-1) whose main responsibility is to be an operator for the receiving and processing of emergency services calls made by telephone, radio, or any other form of electronic means. They work hard each and every day to make sure citizens get the best emergency services and they are a very important part of the community.

If you have ever dialed 9-1-1 to get help in an accident or an emergency, then a telecommunicator has been on the phone to collect your information and get you help. During this week, April 14th-20th, agencies, elected officials and citizens are honoring 9-1-1 call-takers and dispatchers for their effort in making emergency services effective and efficient. 
Back in 1990, Congress designated this week to recognizing telecommunicators and we ask that you do the same this week! If you see a telecommunicator or you know someone who works as a call-taker or dispatcher, reach out to them and take the time to let them know that they are appreciated for all the time and effort they put into making 9-1-1 what it is today.

Attached is a proclamation from Texas Governor Rick Perry recognizing telecommunicators this week. We ask that you do the same and share your stories with us on how you appreciated your call-takers and dispatchers.

Check out this cute video created by Edmond Dispatch:

Monday, April 8, 2013

9-1-1 Programs Recognize the Importance of 9-1-1 during 9-1-1 Education Month

During the month of April, various 9-1-1 entities are busy working to provide knowledge to the public on the use of 9-1-1 in honor of 9-1-1 Public Education Month. From creating public service announcements to making appearances in school classrooms, public educators are aiming to educate the general public about the importance and appropriate use of 9-1-1 services.
Below, we have compiled various efforts across the nation. Every effort made this month makes a huge difference in the public’s perception and knowledge of 9-1-1, which is why 9-1-1 Public Education Month is so crucial to our society.

Joliet, Illinois: Will County 9-1-1 is urging all educational organizations to assist with the 9-1-1 Education Challenge. The Will County 9-1-1 System will be providing educational materials for organizations to utilize during the month of April.
Houston, Texas: Greater Harris County 9-1-1 Emergency Network will be airing a public education message in movie theaters throughout Brazos, Galveston, Fort Bend, Harris, and Montgomery Counties. The message, titled “Help 9-1-1 Help You”, will remind 9-1-1 callers to give your location, stay on the line and answer all questions. Greater Harris partnered with Brazos County 9-1-1 District, Galveston County 9-1-1 District and Montgomery County 9-1-1 District to create this public awareness campaign.

Corpus Christi, Texas: The City of Corpus Christi will be airing some public service announcements on TV and radio about 9-1-1 awareness. During the week of National Telecommunicators Week, they will have the mayor read a declaration recognizing this week.
Montpelier, Vermont: The State of Vermont’s Enhanced 9-1-1 Program will be rolling out public service announcements on local radio stations designed to raise public awareness about the Do’s and Don’ts of effectively using 9-1-1.

Washington, D.C.: The Office of Unified Communications will provide education materials to all organizations and age groups promoting their 2013 campaign message which is “9-1-1 wants you to KNOW”. The OUC is also encouraging youth and parents to register their mobile number to their home address with the Smart911 program, so that responders can quickly notify parents in the event of an emergency.
Charlotte, North Carolina: Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Communications Center will be going to daycares in the area to teach children when to dial 9-1-1 and what questions will be asked of them on the call. They will also be attending neighborhood watch meetings to speak with adults about the importance of 9-1-1.

These are just a few efforts going on around the country to get the message out regarding 9-1-1 services. If you know of efforts or if you are providing efforts in your area, please share them with us! We would love to include them in our blog. Send information to A big thank you to public educators for all that you do!

Monday, April 1, 2013

April Marks National 9-1-1 Education Month

It is National 9-1-1 Education Month which is a great time to brush up on all knowledge of 9-1-1 including how it works and how it benefits you and the community.

In 2008, the House of Representatives passed a resolution to increase national awareness about the importance and appropriate use of 9-1-1. By creating a month dedicated to 9-1-1 education, Congress is able to encourage annual public awareness events, public advertising campaigns, target outreach activities and provide training for parents and teachers.

In response to this resolution, The National 9-1-1 Education Coalition has created a yearly campaign on 9-1-1 education. The 2013 campaign theme for this month is “Be 9-1-1 Ready”. By being 9-1-1 ready, you can help 9-1-1 get to you quicker and more efficiently. Below are the most important messages that the public needs to understand currently when it comes to utilizing 9-1-1 services.

Know Where You Are: Be able to tell the 9-1-1 call-taker exactly where you are and where they can find you. Knowing street names, landmarks and other important surroundings will help better assist the call-taker in getting you emergency services.
Don’t Text to 9-1-1: At this time, very few 9-1-1 entities are able to accept text messages. It is in your best interest to call 9-1-1 when emergency services are needed. Do not rely on texting 9-1-1 for help.

Use a Landline: When you call from a landline, the call-taker is able to locate you better. Call phone calls are not always routed to the closest call center and this could delay emergency services from getting to you sooner. Of course, if you are unable to use a landline, then please use your cell phone to call.
Stay Calm and Ready to Listen: 9-1-1 was created in order to help you in the event of an emergency. Remember to take deep breathes, remain calm and listen to the call-taker’s questions or instructions so that you can provide all necessary information.

As always, do not forget that 9-1-1 is for emergency use only and should never be abused or used for fun. It helps save lives and is an important tool in helping our society to get the aid they need. Call 9-1-1 when you or someone else’s life is in danger, or if there is a crime or fire occurring.

NENA information on 9-1-1 Education Month: