April is recognized as National 9-1-1 Education Month and on March 31st the National 9-1-1 Education Coalition, along with Federal, State and local officials, joined local area school children to launch 2011's National 9-1-1 Education Month campaign. 9-1-1 for Kids and the E9-1-1 Institute hosted the celebration at the Russell Senate Building Garden on Capitol Hill with former Oakland Raiders captain Tim Brown serving as master of ceremonies. As an E9-1-1 Institute board member, I took the opportunity to attend the kick-off event and join other members of the Public Safety Coalition to talk about the importance of teaching kids how and when to dial 9-1-1.
Paul Nicholson, a State Farm Insurance agent recognized for his work as an active advocate of 9-1-1 education, addressed the kids as he demonstrated a proper 9-1-1 call from start to finish with a 9-1-1 simulator. Representatives from the Coalition acknowledged Federal representatives Rear Admiral (Ret.) Jamie Barnett, Chief of the FCC's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau and Laurie Flaherty from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) — also addressed the crowd. The list of VIPs did not stop there as McGruff the Crime Dog® and mascot Red E. Fox were also in attendance.
At the event, the National 9-1-1 Education Coalition also announced the launch of a new online resource: www.know911.org to support State and Local 9-1-1 organizations in their 9-1-1 education efforts. The "9-1-1: The Number to Know" campaign benefits State and Local organizations by providing them with a nationally branded 9-1-1 campaign which includes a unified 9-1-1 theme, logo and more - in an effort to have State and National 9-1-1 organizations speak together with one voice while maintaining their individual 9-1-1 awareness outreach.
It's important that parents, teachers and family members educate children, seniors and the general public about the importance of knowing when and how to dial 9-1-1 and the appropriate use of the service. Comcast supports the efforts of the Public Safety Coalition and 9-1-1 Education Month. I encourage everyone to take some time and speak with members of your own family and even visit your child's class to speak about 9-1-1. For 9-1-1 resources, visit Comcast's 9-1-1 Education Center at http://security.comcast.net/e911 where you'll find interactive activities for children, 9-1-1 tips and links to other resources that can support your education efforts throughout the month.