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How to Tell If Your Child Knows What to Do in an Emergency

How to Tell If Your Child Knows What to Do in an Emergency


It’s something we hope will never happen, but it’s also a reality we can’t avoid. Every day we see news stories or social media posts about kids who found themselves in an emergency and knew exactly what to do. We at NCT9-1-1 call them Kid Heroes, and though they stepped up to the plate and showed incredible bravery, they were also well prepared by their parents to handle an emergency.

If seeing these news stories makes you wonder if your own child would be prepared to handle an emergency, we’re glad you’re reading this post. We’ve outlined some basic questions you can ask yourself to find out if your child would know what to do in an emergency.

Do they know how to call 9-1-1?

Some parents assume 9-1-1 is an easy, self-explanatory skill they can teach in five minutes, but the act of physically punching 9-1-1 into a phone is just the first step. Kids need to know the different ways they can call 9-1-1, how to rely their location if they’re in an unfamiliar place, and what to say to the call taker.

If you need help teaching your child how to call 9-1-1 in an emergency, you can download our digital guide “4 Steps to Teaching Your Kid 9-1-1” here. It covers everything you need to know to start this very important conversation.

Do they know what an emergency is?

It may sound like a pointless question, but does your child recognize an emergency? It’s important to go over what qualifies an emergency situation with your child so they know when to get help.

Teach them the signs of an emergency:

  • If they see fire or smoke
  • If someone is unconscious or not breathing
  • If someone is hurt or bleeding

If your child doesn’t know what an emergency is, they won’t know what to do if they find themselves in one.

Do you know what do?

Kids mimic their parents, and if you know how to handle and 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 you 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 they can get themselves out. 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.

How Drones Can Help 9-1-1 Find Your Location

How Drones Can Help 9-1-1 Find Your Location




In an effort to maintain accurate GIS data that supports Next Generation 9-1-1 best practices, new tools are always in development to make a 9-1-1 caller’s location information as accurate as possible. We in the 9-1-1 industry are starting to see new opportunities in wireless location accuracy with RapidSOS, and now new technology like the North Central Texas Emergency Communications District 9-1-1’s UAS Program is changing the way 9-1-1 collects and uploads location data.

The ALI information provided by the carriers gives the exact address of a landline to dispatchers, and this addressing information is collected early on in the addressing process when new neighborhoods and regions are in development. Unfortunately, the current process for collecting GIS information for new subdivision means it can take weeks before the data is available to PSAPs, especially in rural areas. The GIS team of the NCT9-1-1 Program is leading the way on utilizing drones to create a faster process for addressing streets within new neighborhoods, and their recent pilot flight demonstrated that this technology can cut down the addressing process dramatically.

The images below demonstrate how an aerial view provided by drones can aid in mapping new subdivisions so that the information can later be uploaded for 9-1-1 call takers.


The traditional addressing method involves either utilizing hand-drawn plats from the county appraisal office, or driving new roads with GPS devices and then digitizing the information to be uploaded for PSAP use. The entire process can take anywhere from two to four weeks, which means residents could already be living in subdivisions that have yet to be addressed. The use of drones to capture the data of new subdivisions cuts this time down to only a few hours, accelerating the planning process significantly and letting PSAPs get access to that data in a much shorter timeframe.

Georeferencing with drones is just the first step for this new technology in the public safety industry. The potential this technology has to improve location accuracy starts with collecting addressing information, but has the potential to assist with subaddressing multistory buildings, and can be used to predict flood forecasting and for search and rescue.

The NCT9-1-1 GIS Team on their pilot flight

Reflections on 2018

Reflections on 2018

Last night I reflected on the year 2018 in the 9-1-1 industry and our region.  2018 was a year of triumph and new beginnings peppered with tribulations.

NCTCOG 9-1-1 started the year with an exciting pilot project working with Google and RapidSOS to trial supplemental location that has the potential to revolutionize 9-1-1 for callers and responders.  Following the trial, NCTCOG staff and telecommunicators assisted in creating awareness and advocating for the permanent adoption of this technology.  In the fall, these efforts paid off as both Google and Apple announced they would be providing device based supplemental location to 9-1-1.  NCTCOG uses the RapidSOS Clearinghouse to push the information to each of our PSAPs.

February 16th marked the 50th anniversary of the first 9-1-1 call in the United States.  The months since that anniversary date have brought numerous celebrations, including the 9-1-1 Festival in Haleyville, Alabama where the inaugural call was placed.  Associations and 9-1-1 centers throughout the country have hosted different events to honor 50 years of 9-1-1.  Now telecommunicators and their families, along with the general public, can go visit the “red 9-1-1 phone” from Haleyville proudly on display in the new National Law Enforcement Museum in Washington DC.

President Trump contributed to the celebration on February 16th by signing two new laws to improve emergency calling.

Kari’s Law requires multi-line telephone systems—which commonly serve hotels, office buildings, and campuses—to enable users to dial 911 directly, without having to dial a prefix (such as a “9”) to reach an outside line.  Kari’s Law also requires multi-line telephone systems to provide notification, such as to a front desk or security office, when a 911 call is made in order to facilitate building entry by first responders.  Kari Hunt was killed in a hotel in Texas while her daughter tried unsuccessfully to call 9-1-1 for help.  Kari’s father, Hank Hunt, has worked since her death to get laws changed so that people can get direct access to 9-1-1 while in hotels.  Hank was present for the signing of this important legislation.

The second law was RAY BAUM’S Act which had a directive to address dispatchable location for 9-1-1 call, regardless of the technological platform used.

And it wasn’t just the President and Congress that has supported 9-1-1 in 2018, the FCC worked diligently on improving 9-1-1 calling from Multi-Line Telephone Systems and RAY BAUM’S directive for dispatchable location through proposed rulemaking in September in order to provide clarity and specificity to these statutory requirements so that companies can effectively meet their obligations.  They are also examining how to route wireless 9-1-1 calls more quickly to the proper PSAP and continue to focus on helping first responders locate wireless 9-1-1 callers.  With the carriers committing to provide device-based location, the next area of emphasis will be on vertical location or Z axis.

The NCTCOG 9-1-1 Regional Telecommunicator Academies continued to provide licensed telecommunicators for the region through two month-long classes.  Our County 9-1-1 Coordinators were able to improve accuracy over 90% and move into the maintenance phase of error resolution.  NCTCOG had two staff members certified as FAA 107 pilots and they conducted a trial of addressing a subdivision using UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) or drones.  Working through flight regulations and restrictions of UAS will allow the 9-1-1 industry to address new subdivisions in a much more timely and efficient manner, enhancing the 9-1-1 map accuracy for 9-1-1 call location.

NCTCOG continued to support innovation and new services  to enhance emergency communications by working with universities, startup companies and existing companies with new technology.  PSAPs and staff participated in focus groups and pilots and NCTCOG hosted the second annual Early Adopter Summit for 9-1-1 early adopters throughout the nation.  NCTCOG also entered into an analytics contract with RapidDeploy.  This contract will allow us to collect call data and provide to PSAPs in reports and on a dashboard.  The next phases of the contract will bring in additional data and analyze it and then use the information to make good decisions for the future based on predictive analytics.

Lastly, NCTCOG 9-1-1 became a regional district on December 3 and NCT9-1-1 has launched a new website, logo and branding.

As for tribulations, I don’t want to rub salt in our wounds but the last several months have brought us challenges with outages.  The service has been restored and there have been numerous lessons learned, both technically and operationally.  Most of all, NCTCOG has improved communications with our PSAPs as we partner in the good times and bad.  The national CenturyLink outage did indeed take down our region, however, Text-to-9-1-1 remained up for the duration so our public always had a way to reach emergency services.  In addition, NCT9-1-1, PSAPs and the media assisted in getting the word out on 10-digit emergency numbers. We find any outage unacceptable and have been working with our vendors to strengthen our system and improve in every area possible.  We are so thankful for the PSAPs and their administration working side by side with our staff to make these improvements.

I want to give special thanks to our wonderful Telecommunicators, supervisors, county coordinators, NCT9-1-1 staff, management and our industry partners.  Implementing new call handling equipment in a large region takes a great deal of work from all involved and I’m so proud that you all embraced the technology and are enhancing public safety through improved emergency communications.  The new CPE and network enhancements are a step in the right direction for continuing our mission.

In retrospect, the word I would use for 2018 is “achievement”. We practiced our core value of perseverance during the challenges and our heart, courage and attitude have prevailed.  The word for next year that I hope we can all focus on in good times and bad is “unstoppable”.  You have experience, knowledge, skills and passion and we stand together to serve the public and protect our first responders. You are SAVING LIVES AND MAKING A DIFFERENCE!

Thank you and Happy New Year!


Christy Williams

Director of 9-1-1, NCT9-1-1

The NCT9-1-1 Region Experienced a 9-1-1 Outage


NCT9-1-1 has received the all clear from its service provider. All agencies are receiving calls and 9-1-1 services in the region are operating normally.


According to our service provider, all 9-1-1 services with the NCT9-1-1 region are operating normally. However, NCT9-1-1 will continue to monitor call traffic to ensure 9-1-1 calls are being received before we confirm that we are no longer affected by the CenturyLink outage.


We have just confirmed with all of our agencies that 9-1-1 calls are coming through. 9-1-1 services within the NCT9-1-1 region are restored, and we are now running at normal operations.


There is currently no new update at this time. We will update with more information as it is provided to us.

UPDATE: 12:43 AM

CenturyLink has reported that the situation will have a solution by 4 AM. We will provide our next update at that time.

UPDATE: 12:10 AM

There is no change to the situation. The NCT9-1-1 Region is experiencing an outage, though text-to-9-1-1 is still available in all areas.

UPDATE: 11:41 pm

We received confirmation that the outage is related to the national CenturyLink rolling outage. We will update with more details as we receive them.

UPDATE: 11:30 pm

Text 9-1-1 IS WORKING in the NCT9-1-1 Region. The 9-1-1 outage does not affect Plano, Richardson, Wylie, Ennis, Glenn Heights or Mansfield.


Call centers in the NCT9-1-1 Area are experiencing a 9-1-1 outage. The affected areas include:

Collin County

Erath County

Ellis County

Hood County

Hunt County

Johnson County

Kaufman County

Navarro County

Palo Pinto County

Parker County

Rockwall County

Somervell County

Wise County

Cities of Balch Springs, Cockrell Hill, Sachse, Seagoville and Wilmer

We will be updating with more information every 30 minutes. Citizens needing to call 9-1-1 are encouraged to call their local police department’s non-emergency number.


PSAP 24/7 10-Digit Emergency Line
Allen PD 214-509-4321
Balch Springs PD 972-557-6005
Bridgeport PD 940-683-3430
Cleburne PD 817-645-0972
Cockrell Hill PD 214-339-4141
Collin County SO 972-547-5350
Commerce PD 903-886-1139
Corsicana PD 903-654-4902
Decatur PD 940-393-0300
Dublin PD 254-445-3455
Ellis County SO 972-937-6060
Erath County SO 254-965-3318
Forney PD 972-552-3932
Frisco PD 972-292-6010
Greenville PD 903-457-2900
Hood County SO 817-408-2788
Hunt County SO 903-453-6838
Johnson County SO 817-556-6060
Johnson County ESD 817-357-8800
Kaufman County RCC 469-376-4598
Keene PD 817-645-0511
LifeCare EMS 817-594-2764
McKinney PD 972-547-2700
Midlothian PD (NEED Center) 972-775-3333
Mineral Wells PD 940-328-7770
Murphy PD 972-468-4200
Navarro County SO 903-654-3001
NCTCOG Training Center 888-311-3911
Palo Pinto County SO 940-659-2085
Parker County SO 817-594-3213
Prosper PD 972-347-2226
Rockwall County SO 972-204-7001
Rockwall PD 972-771-7724
Sachse PD 972-495-2005
Seagoville PD 972-287-1111
Somervell County SO 254-897-2242
Springtown PD 817-220-0828
Stephenville PD 254-918-1273
Terrell PD 469-474-2700
Waxahachie PD 469-309-4400
Wilmer PD 972-441-6565
Weatherford PD 817-598-4023
Wise County SO 940-627-3311