A 911 public educator whose
passion helped and inspire an entire county
by Paul Nicholson
I believe my story is one that has saved a life and with
your help, will save hundreds or even thousands of lives throughout the
Country. About 11 years ago, I fell from
a cement truck at my home and my son watched me be taken away in an ambulance
when he was very young. A few weeks
later he made me aware that he did not know how/when to call for help. That is when I found a 911 simulator and
called one school asking if I could come there to teach the Kindergarten, 1st
and 2nd grade children. After one presentation,
I received a call from the Humboldt County Risk Manager, Kimberly Comet, asking
if I would teach other classes. I said
YES and now each year I teach 911 to over 3000 children at various Humboldt
County Schools. I have been doing this
for 11 years. In fact, one child that I
taught how to call 911 in Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade called 911 when he
was in 3rd grade because his mom needed help.
He and I received a State award from 911 for Kids which then turned into
a National award from E 9-1-1 Institute. Just imagine how a child would feel if
they could have saved a life but did not know how to do something as simple as
call 911. It is there for everyone to
Teaching how to use 911 is not just going to benefit
children. I was teaching 911 for about 4
years when I heard a story on CNN about a 911 operator from San Francisco who
had a 4 or 5 year old little girl on the phone.
She needed help and was calling from a cell phone. She did not know her address. The 911 operator asked her if her mom owned a
car. She said YES! He asked her to go to the car and read the
license plate to him, which she did. In
seconds, the 911 operator knew her location.
Immediately I added this story to my presentation and purchased a
California license plate saying A 911 GUY.
This is information that every person in the Country could use to help
identify their location.
Every home should readily have a listing of emergency
contact phone numbers so I came up with the ICE card idea. ICE stands for In Case of Emergency. I think every home should have an ICE card on
their refrigerator. Just imagine if you
walked into a friend or neighbors home, saw them on the floor and needed call for help. Wouldn’t it be great if the ICE card was on
the refrigerator letting you and all first responders know the family and/or
friends to call, the Doctor and any critical medicines or allergies. I have even listed Poison Control so if
someone eats or drinks something harmful, they will have no delay in obtaining
help. Children have told me I already
know how to call 991 or 199. My ICE card
will assist them in knowing the number while under pressure.
Did you know that every cell phone and pay phone must go to
911? If someone has a parent or
grandparent who will not get a cell phone, just give them your old phone and
keep it charged. It could save a
life. Did you know that millions of
dollars are wasted each day by improper use of 911? By teaching the proper use of 911, it could
save the entire Country millions. Did you
know 911 cannot take text or video messages yet? That is the NEXT GENERATION of 911, it close
and will soon be implemented. Imagine
someone hiding somewhere, needing help and they cannot speak. Being able to text 911 for help could save
their life. The ability to send a video
to 911 would be so beneficial to the first responders. Children knowing how to call 911 at the first
sign of a fire could save many lives and millions in property damage. NG 911 will require comprehensive consumer
training to reduce 911 misuse.
I have been honored to receive virtually every local award
including the Red Cross HERO’S award, the City Schools Apple Pin Award, The
League of Women Voters of Humboldt County citizen award, the State 911 Hero’s
award and the E 9-1-1 Institute National award.
I have included some information about the 9-1-1 Honors benefit in
Washington D.C. last year so you can see the numerous Senators and
Congressmen/women involved with 911.
This is so important, especially since children have so much more
information they need to know today with many times having two households and
now numerous phone numbers to learn (home and cell).