Teaching kids to dial 911 in an emergency - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Can your kids dial 911?

Seven-year-old Zoria Jordan was spending a normal day cooking in the kitchen with her grandmother Geneva, when things went wrong. "I cut the stove on and I felt a little drowsy, like when I can feel a seizure coming on," said grandmother Geneva Reed.

Geneva has a history of seizures, and one was striking.  The only person there to help was Zoria.  "I told her, ‘Well Grandma's not feeling good.' So, I sat down on the stool. She said, 'Grandma, you alright?' I said, 'Not really,'" explained Reed.

Zoria knew that her grandmother suffered from seizures, and immediately called 911.  "I told them that my grandma was in the kitchen cooking me breakfast and she passed out," said Zoria. "They said everything's going to be ok because the ambulance was coming."

Thanks to Zoria, everything was ok.  She was able to give the address to the dispatcher, and paramedics quickly arrived to take care of her grandmother.

"To have the little girl do that, it brings a smile to my face," said AMR Dispatch Supervisor Corey Briscoe.

Paramedics with American Medical Response say it's important to teach kids as early as possible what to do in an emergency.  "As simple as telling them how to dial 911, getting them familiar with the telephone to where they know how to do that when there isn't an adult," said Briscoe.

It's also important that kids know their address, so they can give it to responders.  Also, make sure kids are aware of any medical problems, like seizures.

"Especially if it's something where they could be incapacitated, that's something good to let the kids know," said Briscoe.  

Other tips from emergency responders:

Teach kids numbers and addresses using rhymes or songs to make it easy to remember.

Don't teach kids to dial "nine-eleven." Instead, teach the number as "nine-one-one."  In the middle of an emergency, kids may get confused and try to find the number "11" on the phone.

Make sure a phone is in reach of children, and make sure they know where to find it.

Have kids practice talking on the phone with a friend or a relative.  That way they know how to dial, how to speak clearly and answer questions.

In the case of a fire or a robbery, tell kids to go to safety before calling 911.

Explain that 911 is not a toy, and make sure kids understand to only use it in an emergency. 

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