Would your child know what to do in an emergency?

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Children as young as four have been able to help save their parents, friends and even strangers’ lives by calling triple zero and providing vital information to the call-taker in order to get the right help in an emergency.

Whether it be a fire, police or ambulance emergency, arming your kids with the skills to handle a triple zero call could help save a life.

At the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA), which provides emergency call-taking and dispatch services for Victoria, we’ve heard a number of brave triple zero stories involving children getting the right help in an emergency. Some of these stories include eight-year-old Ethan who called triple zero for his mum who had a stroke or Charlotte, who at just four years old called triple zero when her mum fell, injured her hip and was unable to move.

Here are some key tips for educating your children on how to call triple zero during an emergency.

Know your location

One of the most important pieces of information you need to give the operator is the address of where you need help. As soon as the operator knows where and what your emergency is, help will be organised.

Make sure your children know your home address or have it up on the fridge or an area that is accessible. When on holidays, ensuring your children know your holiday location is also a vital piece of information.

If your child is calling from a mobile and they are unsure of their exact location, they can provide the operator with the nearest landmark, such as a shopping centre.

Answer the operator’s questions

Ensure your child knows that if they have to call triple zero that they answer the call-taker’s questions as best they can. This is so the operator can gather as much information as possible and organise the appropriate help. This will not delay an emergency response.

Information they might need to help answer the call-taker’s questions include:

  • details of what happened; e.g. how did the person hurt themselves
  • the age of the person needing help
  • if the person needing help takes any special medication

Teaching your children how and when to call triple zero can really can save lives. We tell parents and carers that the life a child might save could be yours.

ESTA provides the critical link between the Victorian community and the state’s emergency services agencies. It provides Victoria’s 24-hour emergency call-taking and dispatch services for police, fire, ambulance and VICSES. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for the latest triple zero news, stories and information.

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