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Be Spooky, Not Spooked!

Be Spooky, Not Spooked!

Happy Halloween! Here at NCT9-1-1, we like to celebrate Halloween like everyone else. More importantly, we like to stay safe while celebrating this festive holiday. Halloween is supposed to be fun scary, not dangerous scary. Here are some tips and tricks on how to keep your kids, pets, and other loved ones safe this spooky season!


When it comes to trick-or-treating, everyone should aim to have a spooktacular time! However, we recommend practicing trick-or-treating safety, especially amongst your kids and younger family members. Some things you can do to practice safe trick-or-treating is making sure your trick-or-treaters’ costumes are fire resistant and have reflective tape on them. This will help  keep your little goblins seen by any flashing lights and be flame retardant. To ensure the safety of our kids and loved ones, we recommend the following:

  • Instruct them to never go into someone’s house or car for candy.
  • Take plenty of working flashlights to help see in the dark and an adult to accompany the trick-or-treaters on their Halloween adventures.
  • Have a fully charged phone and know how to call 9-1-1 for help in the event of an emergency.


To help teach your kids or any family members how to safely and successfully call 9-1-1, you can use our 9-1-1 virtual simulator app, Learn 9-1-1. The app is a great platform for kids and everyone else to practice calling 9-1-1. To request an account for the app, fill out the Public Education profile request. This form can be found on our website under the resources tab.


Our Halloween safety tip for pets is a little bit different than our tips for our trick-or-treaters. For the safety of our furry friends, we recommend securing your pets inside. Whether you are planning on trick-or-treating or staying in to pass out candy, some pets may get overstimulated by all the Halloween excitement, causing them to get scared, run away, scratch, or jump on people. Halloween pet safety is key to enjoying spooky season with your furry friend.

We hope you enjoy this spooky season with these safety tips and tricks. Remember to keep your kids and loved ones protected this Halloween season by preparing their costumes, teaching them how to call 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency, and remind them to stay out of stranger’s homes and cars. Have a ghoulishly good time this Halloween season and remember to make safety a priority.

NCT9-1-1 Regional CISM Taskforce

NCT9-1-1 Regional CISM Taskforce

Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) is the selection and implementation of the most appropriate crisis intervention tactics to best respond to the needs of a situation at hand. NCT9-1-1 encourages the mental health and wellbeing of 9-1-1 Telecommunicators by providing the regional CISM taskforce. The goal of the NCT9-1-1 regional CISM taskforce is to provide 9-1-1 telecommunicators in the NCT9-1-1 service area the opportunity to receive emotional and tangible support through times of personal or professional crises while helping to anticipate and address potential difficulties.


Who the regional CISM taskforce services and where

The NCT9-1-1 regional CISM taskforce supports 40 Emergency Communications Centers (ECCs), over 500 9-1-1 telecommunicators across 13 counties and 10,000 square miles. Taskforce members are licensed 9-1-1 telecommunicators who have volunteered to participate in the NCT9-1-1 regional CISM taskforce. Members have received specialized training for certification as peer supporters. Members are also trained to International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF) standards and utilize internationally recognized methods.


Benefits of CISM

The NCT9-1-1 regional CISM taskforce helps to lessen the impact of the critical incident, normalize instinctive reaction to the incident, and encourages the natural recovery process. The NCT9-1-1 regional CISM taskforce also helps to restore the adaptive functioning skills of the person/group in the critical incident and determine the need for further supportive services or therapy. The NCT9-1-1 regional CISM taskforce is designed to encourage and further support the mental health and wellbeing of the 9-1-1 telecommunicators. More often than not, 9-1-1 telecommunicators are receiving high level stress calls at such a fast pace and are not given time to process any or all information they just encountered or relayed.


With the NCT9-1-1 regional CISM taskforce, 9-1-1 telecommunicators will have a safe space where they can process any and all trauma encountered during call taking and dispatching. Members are trained to do initial crisis intervention for many types of problems. Some of the more common issues are work-related, such as dealing with the death of a drowning victim, or victims of natural disasters. Other issues may be more personal, such as divorce, illness, disability, career concerns, family relationships, or financial difficulties.


Additional Information

To join the NCT9-1-1 regional CISM taskforce, please visit the CISM website to complete the required documentation. For additional information, please refer to the CISM website or email the Operations team at

Call if you can, text if you can’t.

Call if you can, text if you can’t.


Text to 9-1-1

In certain parts of Texas, you can text 9-1-1 to receive emergency assistance. Text to 9-1-1 is the ability to send a message to reach 9-1-1 emergency call takers from your mobile phone or device. Find out if your area supports text to 9-1-1 by clicking here. Since 2013, text to 9-1-1 has been available in some areas of Texas.


When utilizing text to 9-1-1

To use this feature, enter “911” in the send field, then type out your message. When utilizing this feature, make sure you provide your location within the first message you send to 9-1-1. Also make sure you include what emergency service you need. A text to 9-1-1 can look like this; “Help, I am on main st. and jefferson, we need police and EMS, there has been a hit and run.” If you are in an area that does not support text to 9-1-1, you will receive a bounce back text prompting you to call 9-1-1.


What text to 9-1-1 can do for you

Text to 9-1-1 can be utilized in any emergency in which you are unable to make a phone call. Text to 9-1-1 can be useful in situations in which it is more accessible to text rather than to call 9-1-1. Utilizing this feature can help cut the response time in half if used correctly. If you are in a situation in which it is unsafe for you to call 9-1-1, text 9-1-1.

We hope this blog has been informative in understanding the text to 9-1-1 feature. For any questions regarding text to 9-1-1, contact your local police department or sheriff’s station.

Back To School

Back To School

It’s that time of year again! As our kids and loved ones return back into the classroom,
we want to provide you with some back to school tips and resources that will help everyone
transition back to school. Also, we want to remind you the importance of teaching your kids how
to call 9-1-1 in an emergency.

3 Tips To Get Ready For Back To School

1. Transitioning from a summer routine can be hard. We all know the struggle of getting our
kids out of bed in the morning. One thing we can provide for our kids to help them get
ready for school is to establish a nighttime routine that allows for optimal rest. It’s no
secret that kids thrive when they are well rested. Setting up a night time routine that
allows kids to have a full eight hours of uninterrupted sleep can help energize them for
the upcoming school year. By creating and following a nighttime routine, our kids will be
well prepared to wake up and take on the school year!
2. The next thing we can do to help our kids get ready for school is to organize.
Organization will help our kids as well as parents and guardians feel comfortable
transitioning back into school mode. Organization can take many forms. Whether it is
organizing our kids backpacks, school supplies, or back to school wardrobe, this is one
more thing we can do to help prepare our kids.
3. Lastly and most importantly, we can positively reinforce the school year for our kids. It is
important that we as parents and guardians build up our kids’ confidence. Reinforcing
back to school in a positive light can definitely affect our kids’ attitude on the upcoming
school year. Like every parent and or guardian, we want our kids to approach the school
year prepared and confident, and a positive approach will help.

How to Teach Your Kids To Call 9-1-1

Teaching our kids the proper use of 9-1-1 is very important. We want our kids to be able to get
help in any and all emergencies. Kids mimic their parents, and if you know how to handle an
emergency, it will be easier for them to learn. Does your family have an emergency plan for a
fire or natural disaster? Have you talked about what your child should do if they get lost? Or if
something were to happen at their school? The secret to dealing with a potential emergency is
planning. Sit down and talk to your child about scary situations they might find themselves in
and ways to handle them. These scenarios can vary from a house fire to a car accident to a threat
at their school. Cover all possibilities but remind them that these situations are rare. You’re not
trying to scare them, but to help them understand that the best way to stay safe is to be prepared.
Here is a fun exercise you can do with your kids to help teach them when and how to call 9-1-1.


As we prepare our kids to go back to school, we hope you find our tips and resources helpful.
You can learn more about 9-1-1 education and safety by visiting your local police department or
sheriff’s office website. We hope you have a great upcoming school year!