FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUNE 22, 2009
For more information:
Greater Harris County 9-1-1, PIO
713-625-9911 or 713-806-9495
NEW MULTI-MEDIA CAMPAIGN EDUCATES CALLERS
TO GIVE LOCATION INFORMATION FIRST AND
DISCOURAGES NON-EMERGENCY CALLS
“Know How to Call with the Phone You Own.”
(HOUSTON, TX) Greater Harris County 9-1-1 Emergency Network (GHC 9-1-1) is reaching out
to the citizens of Harris and Fort Bend counties with new information about the best ways to
gain rapid, efficient emergency assistance.
“Over 70% of calls to 9-1-1 are from cell phones that may not tell the call taker the exact
location of the caller. In addition, VoIP (Internet) phones have limited location-tracking
capabilities. Office phones, for instance, do not tell 9-1-1 which suite within an office building
needs emergency assistance,” said Sonya Lopez-Clauson, GHC 9-1-1 public information
officer. “Our campaign reminds citizens of these limitations and urges them to first tell the 9-1-1
call taker the location of their emergency.”
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE 15-SECOND 9-1-1 TV COMMERCIAL.
(ALLOW 60+ SECONDS TO DOWNLOAD)
The GHC “Know the Phone You Own” campaign has three key messages:
1. When calling 9-1-1, first say your location.
Give the address, spell street names and describe landmarks to help emergency responders
deliver aid as quickly as possible.
2. Only call 9-1-1 for true emergencies.
Records show that up to 30% of 9-1-1 calls are for non-emergencies. This requires additional
call takers, ties up emergency vehicles which may then not be available for true emergencies
and burden the 9-1-1 system. Examples of non-emergency calls are requesting a ride to the
doctor, reporting stolen property or a crime that happened in the past, requesting help for a
broken pipe and ordering an ambulance for a non-life-threatening illness.
3. 9-1-1 cannot receive texts.
This is a critical message especially for “tween” callers who send text messages even more than they phone. Texting may be an effective rescue tool in the future, but the technology is not yet available.
Tracking data indicates that GHC 9-1-1 public information campaigns during the past three years have improved the quality of 9-1-1 incoming calls, and thus helped to control costs.
This three-month 2009 public information campaign includes TV and radio commercials,
billboards, Metro bus signs, and taxi advertising. Also, bookmarks with the same messages are
being distributed at community events throughout the greater Houston area. For more
information check the Web site at www.911.org
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