When & how to call 911. Teaching children how to call 911 using various phones.

When & how to call 911. Teaching children how to call 911 using various phones.

Phones can help you make an emergency call, but how do you do it?

Audio acknowledgements:
‘Little Idea’ – bensound.com
‘Dial Tone American’ – soundbible.com

This video won a “Special Commendation” prize in the 2019 Canadian Institutes of Health Research – IHDCYH Talks Competition

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Additional emergency information can be found by visiting the following pages:

Poison: First Aid – https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=1047&language=English
Poison Information Centres in Canada – https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=1121&language=English
Plant safety – https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=1956&language=English
Poison-proof your home – https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=1958&language=English&hub=safety
Anaphylaxis: How to recognize… https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=781&language=English


A superhero takes action when they see danger! You can be a hero too if you know how to call a simple number.

Today, we’ll learn all about when and how to call 9-1-1. 9-1-1 is a number you call when there is in an emergency. An emergency is when you need help from police, fire or ambulance, and you need them to come FAST.

The police can help when you or someone else is in danger, if you see a car accident, or if you see a crime such as someone breaking into a house.

Fire services can help when you see a house or building on fire.

The ambulance can help when someone is seriously hurt or very sick.

You can call 9-1-1 from any type of phone. Indoors, you might find landline phones. These phones come in different shapes and sizes. Some have cords attaching them to their base, and some do not. But what all landline phones have in common is a cord that attaches them to the wall. For phones that are attached to their base with a cord, you need to pick up the phone receiver, put it to your ear, listen for a dial tone [dial tone plays], and then dial 9-1-1 and wait. For cordless phones, pick up the phone, push the “TALK” button, put it to your ear, listen for a dial tone [dial tone plays], then dial 9-1-1 and wait. Another type of phone, called a payphone, can be found in buildings and outdoors. You do not need any money to call 9-1-1. You can just pick up the phone, put it to your ear, listen for a dial tone [dial tone plays], and dial 9-1-1. It’s FREE. Finally, there are smartphones and other mobile cellular phones. These phones can be brought anywhere and can be found indoors and outdoors. To call 9-1-1 on a smartphone, you may need to first push a button on the side or front of the phone to turn on the screen, or you may need to swipe the screen to wake it up. Even if the phone is locked with a passcode screen, there should be a word that says “EMERGENCY” at the bottom of the screen. Press the “EMERGENCY” call button. You will then see a phone screen with numbers. Dial 9-1-1 and press the “CALL” button.

Once you dial 9-1-1, someone called a dispatcher will answer the phone and ask you some questions. Stay calm and clearly answer them as best as you can. They will ask you questions such as: “Do you need Police, Fire or Ambulance?” “What is your emergency?” “What is your name?” “What is the location of your emergency?” It’s important to know your home address in case you have an emergency at home. If you do not know your address, you should ask your parents and learn it. The dispatcher may ask some more questions, so stay on the phone. Help is on the way!

Now, let’s go through some examples to see whether or not we would call 9-1-1. A stranger tries to get you into their car… YES! Your dog is sick… NO! Your parents can help take it to the vet. Your grandma falls and is not waking up… YES! There is a fire in your fireplace… NO! The fire is staying in the fireplace and not going anywhere else. Someone is choking and cannot breathe… YES!

Remember to never call 9-1-1 just for fun or as a joke. The police, fire or ambulance may come, even if you are calling as a joke or call and hang up. This takes help away from people who really, really need it.

Knowing when and how to call 9-1-1 is important. When you’re prepared and
know how to call for help, YOU can be a hero in times of emergencies!


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