FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 14, 2017
PEMA Provides Tips for Calling 9-1-1, Recognizes 9-1-1 Telecommunicators
Harrisburg, PA – The 9-1-1 system in Pennsylvania handles over nine million calls annually from those in need of emergency response from law enforcement, medical, and fire services. PEMA Director Richard D. Flinn Jr. stressed the importance of this vital emergency system, and those who keep it working every day
“The 9-1-1 system in Pennsylvania is usually the first point of contact in emergency situations.” said Flinn. “We rely on these trained individuals to be prepared and watchful 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The continued safety of our families, our neighbors, and visitors in Pennsylvania depends upon Public Safety Telecommunicators. These men and women contribute to saving lives every single day in Pennsylvania and are a vital part of the first responder community.”
Because of the open-face design of most mobile phones today, it is common to accidentally place a call to a friend, family member, or even 9-1-1. If you dial 9-1-1 by mistake, or if a child in your home dials 9-1-1 when no emergency exists, please do not hang up – that could make public safety telecommunicators think that an emergency exists, and possibly send responders to your location. Instead, simply explain to the call-taker what happened.
In addition, during emergencies and times of high call volume, remain on the line even if it seems as though it’s taking a long time for your call to be answered. Hanging up the phone requires telecommunicators to take extra steps to try to re-establish contact, which can delay assistance. Never call 9-1-1 as a prank or for general information needs as such to report power outages or request weather or roadway reports.
The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency is honoring all telecommunicators who answer 9-1-1 calls in Pennsylvania during National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week April 9 – 15.
In 2016, 2,700 telecommunicators in the 69 public safety answering points (PSAPs) in Pennsylvania answered over nine million 9-1-1 calls. National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week provides special recognition to the efforts and contributions of 9-1-1 telecommunicators to public safety.
National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week was established by the United States Congress in 1991 to recognize emergency telecommunicators as the vital link between the public and emergency responders.
“This week is a time for us to show our appreciation and to recognize that our safety in emergency situations is often dependent on the commitment, courtesy, and professionalism of public safety telecommunicators,” Flinn said.
For more information on 9-1-1 programs in Pennsylvania, including a map showing where Text-to-911 Service is available, visit PEMA online at www.PEMA.pa.gov.
MEDIA CONTACT: Ruth A. Miller (PEMA), 717-651-2009; firstname.lastname@example.org
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National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week is celebrated every year during the second week of April; the telecommunications personnel in the public safety community, are honored. This week-long event, initially set up in 1981 by Patricia Anderson of the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office in California, is a time to celebrate and thank those who dedicate their lives to serving the public. It is a week that should be set aside so everyone can be made aware of their hard work, dedication, and sacrifices made in service of others.
We at Northampton County thank you for all the sacrifices you make to create a better and safer world for the public. Your commitment to your profession is appreciated by all. Thank you!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 6, 2016
State Agencies Urge Pennsylvanians to Prepare for Emergencies during National Preparedness Month
Harrisburg, PA – State officials will be reminding citizens throughout September to prepare for emergencies as part of National Preparedness Month, a nationwide month-long effort to encourage households, businesses and communities to prepare and plan for emergencies.
This year’s NPM theme is “Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.” People can learn more by following the hashtag #NatlPrep on Facebook and Twitter.
“With families being more mobile and involved in multiple activities, it’s very likely that an emergency could happen when everyone isn’t together,” said Richard D. Flinn Jr, director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. “Having a family emergency plan ensures that everyone knows who they should contact to report that they’re safe and where they will meet in case they can’t get back home.”
Flinn said that simple steps can be taken now to prepare a family, school, workplace or community for any type of incident that would disrupt the day-to-day routine. Citizens are encouraged to visit www.ReadyPA.org to find sample checklists, contact lists and other preparedness tools to take advantage of before an emergency occurs.
“Once you’ve created a plan, it’s important to practice it just as you would practice a fire drill at work or at school,” said Flinn. “Another important step is to build a basic emergency kit so you have enough food, water, medicine and other essential supplies to sustain your family including your pets without any outside assistance for at least three days.”
In particular, people should think about loved ones who may have special needs that could inhibit their ability to help themselves.
“The best defense during an emergency is knowing what to do,” said Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy. “This is especially important for those who may need more help during emergencies, like children, older Pennsylvanians, and individuals with access and functional needs.”
Those who take medicine or use a medical treatment every day should also be sure to have enough on hand to last for at least one week, as well as keep a list of prescriptions, including the name of the medicine, dosage and any other directions.
Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller said Pennsylvanians should review their homeowners policy and understand what will be covered and steps that you need to take to file claims if their property is damaged. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) recommends that homeowners insure their property at replacement value rather than actual cash value to help cover costs should extensive repairs or a full replacement be deemed necessary. You should also keep an inventory and photos of your personal belongings so you have a detailed record if any are damaged after a storm.
If you rent your home or apartment, the property owner’s policy that covers the rental unit may not cover your personal belongings. It is important that you obtain a renters insurance policy to protect your belongings in the event of storm damage.
“Planning ahead and understanding what you’ll need to know if your property is damaged can ease the recovery process,” said Commissioner Miller. “It is important that you know what is covered by your homeowners or renters insurance and whether you should consider additional coverage like flood insurance.”
Miller said damage from flooding is not covered by a homeowners insurance policy. In addition, renters insurance does not cover property damage from weather-related floods. Flood insurance must be obtained separately and is available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and through some private insurers.
For more information on homeowners and flood insurance, visit www.insurance.pa.gov or contact the department at 1-877-881-6388.
For free preparedness resources such as a checklist, personal preparedness plans and instructional videos, visit www.ReadyPA.org. Follow @ReadyPA on Twitter and like facebook.com/BeReadyPA for additional helpful tips and information.
Media contacts: Ruth Miller, PEMA: 717-651-2009; email@example.com
April Hutcheson, DOH: 717-787-1783
Ali Fogarty, Insurance: 717-787-3289
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 30, 2016
PennDOT, State Police Urge Drivers to Plan Ahead, Designate a Sober Driver for Independence Day Holiday
Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), the Pennsylvania State Police and local police are partnering to help decrease alcohol and drug- related crashes and fatalities, as well as aggressive driving behavior, through the Independence Day holiday weekend.
“Though Independence Day is a time for celebration, we urge Pennsylvanians to plan ahead and designate a sober driver throughout the holiday weekend,” PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards said. “Drivers should also avoid aggressive driving behavior and always wear your seat belt so that we all get to our destinations safety and spend time with family and friends.”
According to PennDOT data, last year there were 330 alcohol-related crashes resulting in 11 fatalities from Friday, June 26, to Sunday, July 5. This marked an increase from 2014, when there were 326 alcohol-related crashes and 11 fatalities from Friday June 27th through Sunday July 6, 2014. Also, during the holiday period last year, there were 99 drug-related crashes and four fatalities in those crashes, an increase from 85 drug-related crashes and four fatalities in 2014.
Police this year will focus their enforcement efforts on speeders, aggressive drivers, seat-belt use and those who drink and drive during the holiday period.
“We urge motorists to buckle up and use caution when traveling over the holiday,” said State Police Commissioner Tyree C. Blocker. “Troopers will be on the lookout for traffic violations and impaired drivers, so please obey the speed limit and don’t get behind the wheel impaired. To ensure motorists get to their destinations safely, remember to keep distractions to a minimum while driving.”
As part of this high-visibility impaired-driving enforcement effort, the Pennsylvania State Police and local law enforcement will conduct checkpoints and roving patrols. This effort is funded through PennDOT’s statewide distribution of more than $4.7 million in federal funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The public can join the conversation on social media by using #drivesober and #designateddriver.
Visit www.penndot.gov/safety for more information on impaired driving and PennDOT’s other traffic-safety initiatives.
MEDIA CONTACT: Ashley Schoch, PennDOT, 717-783-8800; Adam Reed, State Police, 717-783-5556
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