More than 5,000 9-1-1 calls are made every day in King County and only about half are for actual emergencies. With interactive activities, King County’s new Emery All Stars program helped kids at the Chinese Information and Service Center in King County learn all about the when, how, and where of calling 9-1-1.
“You never know when you’re going to have to call. Emergencies are unexpected events and happen to people of all ages. That’s why we want to make sure that all residents of King County know how to call 9-1-1,” said Kayreen Lum, program manager III at King County E-911.
In 2015, Emery the Emergency Penguin launched his very own storybook, Emery and the Ice Carnival, aimed at teaching preschoolers about the do’s and don’ts when calling 9-1-1. This year, Emery All Stars program reached kids ages 6-10 with new, engaging activities at four participating organizations’ summer programs, including El Centro de la Raza, Southwest Youth and Family Services, Chinese Information and Service Center, and Somali Youth and Family Club.
Tips for parents
Old, disconnected phones are often given to children as toys, but even without service, the phones can still dial 9-1-1.
When children accidentally call, this ties up the 9-1-1 line and takes away from actual emergencies.
What if you had to call 9-1-1?
1. Know your location. Knowing the location of the emergency situation is critical in getting you help. This is especially important when calling from a cell phone. If you know your address, give it immediately. Otherwise, look for street signs, landmarks, or mile markers.
2. Identify the emergency. Do your best to stay calm, speak clearly, and state the reason you need emergency help. Tell the call taker what type of help you need: police, fire, or medics.
3. Give your name and phone number. 9-1-1 call takers will need your name and number in case your call is dropped, and emergency responders will also use it if they need to contact you.
4. Stay on the line. You may be asked a series of questions even after emergency responders have been dispatched. Follow the instructions from the 9-1-1 call taker and don’t hang up until told to do so, unless there is a threat to your safety.