Friday, June 27, 2008

9-1-1, What is Your Emergency?...


Yesterday, when my husband was home for lunch, I was sitting, talking with him when a "blocked" call came over the phone. When I answered the phone, all I got was the dial tone, so I hung up and went back and finished my conversation. A couple of minutes later I was in the living room monitoring the kids doing their chores when there was sharp knock on the front door. When I looked through he peep hole I saw two men in uniform, so I opened up and saw two County Sheriff officers standing on my front porch asking me if everything was okay, and if I called 9-1-1?... I'm sure I looked confused, but only for a moment before I turned my gaze inside to #3, my six year old, and asked her if she called 9-1-1...? Silently, she looked down at her feet and I knew...


I call her over to the door and now have to explain to her that what we had been telling her all this time about using 9-1-1 for emergencies only was for real... As embarrassed as I was, I have to say that I was also glad that it had happened just SO all the kids could see how VERY SERIOUS that this is... They (and especially my 6 and 9 year olds who LOVE to use the phone and call aunts and cousins...) now REALLY understand that when they attempt to call 9-1-1, that a computer automatically will connect our address with our phone number coming in to the police office, so they know right away WHERE the call is coming from and can send help, whether we need it, or in this case, not... They now connect that there may be someone else who really DOES need help, but the officers can't go help them, if they are busy going to check on a house (ours, in this case) that doesn't really need their help at all... They understand that sometimes a police car will drive VERY fast through streets and traffic to try and "help" someone, because they don't really know what the problem is, or isn't, until they get there. They are only doing their job to go and "help" when help is asked for. A call to 9-1-1 is a call for help and not a phone game...


I don't think the uniforms and visible handcuffs hurt either... Who knows WHAT she was thinking, as we had already told her MANY times before that you never call 9-1-1 except in an "emergency", other wise you could be arrested.... The officers were very nice and after we had her apologize to them, they told her to be sure and not do it again, except in an emergency... I think she was pretty relieved after they left... without her! ; )

1 comment:

Melissa said...

That sure taught your children a lesson. I'm bet the officers were relieved to find everything was fine and to help in explaining the seriousness of 9-1-1 calls to the kids.
We had a similar experience a few years ago. For some reason our phone wasn't working and we couldn't make or recieve calls. Beyond all explanation our line dialed 9-1-1 in the middle of the night. A sheriff deputy came out twice. The first time he asked to come in, to see if everything was ok. I even had to come downstairs so he could see I was not in distress. I think he could tell things were fine. We explained our phone was out of service. He even checked it. We felt bad, but at the same time it was reassuring that if there were an emergency and speaking into the phone was impossible they still come out.
We never could figure out why the phone line was dialing 9-1-1 and neither could the phone company.
That was a sleepless night because as you can imagine the first visit from the sheriff deputy scared the you know what out of us.
Our experiences are a bit different. But it goes to show people just how serious law enforcement take 9-1-1 calls.
Dialing it for fun is no joke. I'm sure your kids get that now.