The Office of Unified Communications (OUC) recognizes April as National 9-1-1 Education Month and joins with national public safety leaders across the country to promote 9-1-1 awareness and proper usage.
Today begins a month-long campaign to help District residents and visitors of all ages recognize the importance of 9-1-1 and the role they play in ensuring effective and efficient emergency response in times of crisis. Groups including the United States Congress and the National Emergency Number Association, a leading public safety association, also recognize April as National 9-1-1 Education Month, and are encouraging the media, the 9-1-1 community, the wireless industry, and public information providers to engage in 9-1-1 awareness and education activities this month.
Locally, the Office of Unified Communications, which received 1.3 million calls for service in FY 2012, will maintain a vigorous community outreach effort in April. The OUC will partner with several District government agencies to promote 9-1-1 education and the District’s Smart911 program. Outings include the Department of Parks and Recreation’s (DPR) spring break camps, the Mayor’s Office of Latino Affairs’ (OLA) Spring Fling, continued outreach with the Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs (OAPIA) and the District’s Office on Aging (DCOA). Staff will be available at all of Mayor Gray’s Budget Town Hall meetings to answer any questions and to provide educational materials to all organizations and age groups promoting our 2013 campaign message, “9-1-1 Wants you to KNOW.”
As consumers utilize new technologies and devices for communication, 9-1-1 education takes on an increased importance for everyone, especially for children, teens, and parents. With cellular phones, knowing your location is vital. The OUC is reinforcing this message by encouraging youth and parents to register their mobile number to their home address with the Smart911 program, so that responders can quickly notify parents in the event of an emergency.
With Smart911, residents are able to create a Safety Profile at www.smart911.com that is automatically displayed to 9-1-1 during emergency calls. The profile can include home and work addresses associated with mobile phone numbers, specific medical conditions and disabilities, all family members, vehicle information and even information about pets.
“Effective 9-1-1 education is critical at all ages. We encourage you to join us in our efforts to promote education throughout the month of April,” stated Jennifer Greene, Director of the Office of Unified Communications.
The Office of Unified Communications provides centralized coordination and management of public safety communications (9-1-1), city services technology (3-1-1), and maintenance of radio and call center technology systems for the District.