Ba­sic in­for­ma­tion is crit­i­cal for emer­gency re­spon­ders

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK -

DEAR ABBY >> I am a 911 dis­patcher with some hints for your read­ers in case they need emer­gency ser­vices and must call 911.

PLEASE pay at­ten­tion to where you are. The most im­por­tant in­for­ma­tion we need is the ad­dress of the emer­gency. If you are on the high­way, tell us the In­ter­state and clos­est mile marker, as well as your di­rec­tion of travel. Many peo­ple as­sume that we can trace their num­ber to their lo­ca­tion. While that may be true for land­line phones, it’s not for cell­phones. Only the cell­phone com­pany can “ping” a phone.

I would also like to cau­tion par­ents about let­ting their chil­dren play with a de­ac­ti­vated phone. If you want to let them play or prac­tice, first RE­MOVE THE BAT­TERY. Many calls we re­ceive come from kids play­ing on a de­ac­ti­vated phone, and we are un­able to call those num­bers back to ver­ify if there’s a le­git­i­mate emer­gency. These calls also tie up emer­gency lines for peo­ple who have a gen­uine emer­gency, mak­ing them wait longer for their call to be an­swered.

My last com­ment is this: If you dial 911 by ac­ci­dent, please tell the dis­patcher that it was an ac­ci­dent. We never get an­gry if some­one in­ad­ver­tently di­als us. Our job is to make sure the pub­lic is OK. If it was ac­ci­den­tal, say so! Other­wise, we must call back to make sure there is not an emer­gency.

Those of us in this pro­fes­sion do this job not be­cause we are get­ting rich, but be­cause we want to help peo­ple. We are the most im­por­tant link in get­ting peo­ple the help they need, but we can­not do it with­out know­ing where the emer­gency is. Thanks for get­ting the word out! — Dis­patcher in North Carolina

DEAR DIS­PATCHER >> Thank you for your help­ful sug­ges­tions. Read­ers, 911 dis­patch­ers are the crit­i­cal first con­tact for peo­ple need­ing help, but they can­not do their job un­less they know where the emer­gency is and that the emer­gency is gen­uine. I hope you will take this per­son’s sug­ges­tions to heart be­cause they are im­por­tant.

DEAR ABBY >> We have been learn­ing about ge­net­ics in my bi­ol­ogy class and how you have to get two re­ces­sive genes from your par­ents to have the re­ces­sive trait, like red hair. I thought it was cool, so I tried to fig­ure out which traits I got from my par­ents.

Now I am freaked out be­cause there were sev­eral traits I have that I could not have got­ten from them! At least one of my par­ents must have been some­one else. I asked my teacher with­out be­ing spe­cific, and she said I was right. Now I don’t know what to do. I won­der if I came from an af­fair that maybe my dad doesn’t know about. Do you think I should ask? — Learned too much in Port­land, Ore.

DEAR LEARNED TOO MUCH >> Yes, I do. But the peo­ple you should talk to are your par­ents, to get the full his­tory on fam­ily traits of rel­a­tives from other gen­er­a­tions you may not know about.

Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

For an ex­cel­lent guide to be­com­ing a bet­ter con­ver­sa­tion­al­ist and a more so­cia­ble per­son, or­der “How to Be Pop­u­lar.” Send your name and mail­ing ad­dress, plus check or money or­der for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Pop­u­lar­ity Book­let, P.O. Box 447, Mount Mor­ris, IL 610540447. (Ship­ping and han­dling are in­cluded in the price.)

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