Call volume at the Granville County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Communications Center has seen a steady yearly increase, with almost 43,500 9-1-1 calls received in 2018 and an increase of about 3,000 calls for service from the previous year. Most residents know to contact 9-1-1 in an emergency, but how can those who may need help determine what an “emergency” is?
An “emergency” is any situation that requires immediate assistance from law enforcement, the fire department or an ambulance. Examples include medical emergencies such as a heart attack or stroke, house fires, incidents of domestic violence, being involved in/witnessing a car crash or being the victim of/witnessing a crime, such as burglary or theft. The general rule is to dial 9-1-1 any time there is a threat to life or property – but if ever in doubt, residents should go ahead and call the 9-1-1 Center.
“When dealing with an emergency, every second counts,” Trent Brummitt, 911 Center Manager of the Granville County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Communications Center, explains. “If you’re unsure, it’s better to be safe and let the 9-1-1 telecommunicator determine if you actually need emergency assistance.”
When calling 9-1-1, some tips to ensure that callers receive the best possible assistance during an emergency include:
Stay calm and listen carefully to the questions the 9-1-1 telecommunicator is asking. Staying calm in an emergency is one of the most difficult, yet most important, things that can be done. The questions being asked, no matter how relevant they may seem, are important in helping get first responders to the scene as prepared and as quickly as possible.
Answer all questions being asked. By doing so, the telecommunicator can better understand the actual situation, so that the appropriate emergency responders can be dispatched.
Know the location of the emergency. This is especially important if calling from a cell phone, because the telecommunicator who takes the call might not be able to pinpoint exactly where the call is coming from. If the exact address is unknown, look for any nearby landmarks, buildings or signage.
Follow instructions. The telecommunicator on the other end of the line is trained to keep callers safe while help is on the way, such as providing instructions to administer basic first aid. Be sure to follow these instructions step by step until responders arrive.
Stay on the line. Even if calling 9-1-1 by mistake, never hang up the phone until instructed to do so. Stay on the line until you can either answer all questions or inform the telecommunicator that you called by accident and that there is actually no emergency. This saves valuable time in having to call back to confirm there is no emergency, or possibly sending members of law enforcement with lights and sirens to investigate further.
Following these tips can help save a life, Brummitt reminds.
“Telecommunicators go through extensive call-taking training, as well as regular continuing education,” he notes. “They have a list of questions to ask, but each plays an important role in the type of help you receive and how much. For example, a telecommunicator may send first responders from the local fire department, as well as an ambulance, for a possible heart attack. Or he/she may send three fire departments and an ambulance to reports of a house fire.”
Posting your home address clearly and prominently at your entrance and on your home is also helpful in ensuring that emergency responders have the correct location. Using something reflective or illuminated so that it can be seen in the evening, as well as during the day, will also be of assistance during an emergency situation.
For situations that are non-emergency in nature, good judgement and common sense can go a long way. Examples of when NOT to call 9-1-1 would be to report a power outage or burst water pipe, to request information about road conditions, for help with minor first aid issues, etc. For situations such as these, a separate line is available by calling 919-690-0444. This call will connect you directly with the “non-emergency” line of the Granville County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Communications Center.
“It is important to remember that obvious non-emergency calls can take away valuable time and resources from those who need help right away,” Brummitt further explains. “We strive to serve the citizens, visitors and responders in the most effective way we know how. But if ever in doubt, please err on the side of caution and call –or text – 911 for help.”
To learn more about what do to in case of an emergency, visit www.nena.org or www.911.org. To learn more about the Granville County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Communications Center, visit www.granvillecounty.org.
The Granville County Tourism Development Authority (GCTDA) is now accepting applications for the upcoming fiscal year. The 2019-2020 grant application period runs from Jan. 1, 2019 through April 1, 2020.
The Primary Purpose of the Granville Tourism Development Authority (GTDA) Mini-Grant Program is to stimulate and assist Granville County organizations and agencies in the enhancement, promotion and marketing of tourism and culturally related events that create a known economic impact from visitor spending. This program is designed to establish activities and events which can eventually grow and thrive without direct funding from this grant program. Funding from the GTDA Mini-Grant should be considered as a supplemental resource only.
Primary consideration will be given to projects/programs with demonstrated/defined potential for positive economic impact to projects that promote travel and the GTDA’s mission of promoting the area as a destination and increase occupancy rates in Granville County through day and weekend visits. Events planned for off-peak times may receive higher priority and first consideration by the GTDA.
Applicants eligible for grant funding must be a Granville County-based community group, non-profit organization, county municipalities or recognized community within the county lines. For-profit groups cannot apply for grant funds unless the event’s proceeds will go to a community supported event (i.e. fundraiser).
Total funding of any event, project, or program will not be greater than 25 percent of the total project budget and will not exceed $5,000. Included with the request may be a one-time artist/entertainment allowance up to $1,000. If this allowance is granted, the GTDA expects the artist/entertainment source to publicize the event and to include the Tourism Development Authority in all advertisements.
Applications are available through http://www.granvillecounty.org/visitors/or through the Granville County Tourism Development office in Oxford. All applications should be submitted by email to email@example.com, or in person/by mail to the Granville County Tourism Development office (124 Hillsboro Street, P.O. Box 820, Oxford NC, 27565) by April 1, 2019 at 5 p.m. The Tourism office is located inside Granville Chamber of Commerce office in Downtown Oxford.
Grant information sessions will be held throughout the cycle. Visit http://www.granvillecounty.org/visitors/ or contact the Granville County Tourism Office at 919-693-5125 for more details about these sessions.
To learn more about this grant, contact Granville County Tourism Director Angela Allen by phone at 919-693-6125 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.