Delaware Grade School Students Learn to Make Emergency Calls with 911 Simulator

MIDDLETOWN, Del. - Thousands of Delaware elementary school students now can learn how to dial emergency telephone calls in the classroom with the help of a 911-call simulator.

This innovative technology was made possible through a partnership of the Delaware State Police, Verizon Communications, and the Telephone Pioneers of America, a community service organization of telephone company employees and retirees.

The 911 simulator will be demonstrated tomorrow (Oct. 26) at 11 a.m. at the Louis L. Redding Intermediate School in Middletown. The device is a training tool that assists teachers and emergency personnel in instructing children and adults on the proper way to call 911. The Pioneers will present a 911-call simulator to the State Police in a ceremony at the school. The unit was purchased with a grant from Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, and is one of three simulators that are available to train students in schools throughout the state.

"Children need to be able to give clear information when they call 911," said Lt. Colonel L. Aaron Chaffinch, acting superintendent of the Delaware State Police. "The advantage of the simulator is that the dial tone, ringing and responses that children experience are as real as they can be.

"We believe that practice with the simulator will reinforce valuable lessons that students learn in school about 911 calls, and we know that the 911 system has been instrumental in saving lives and property for many Delawareans. We thank Verizon and the Pioneers for their support," Chaffinch said.

When a 911 call is placed in a real emergency, emergency officials see the caller's address and phone number within seconds on a computer screen in front of them. This allows officials to immediately send help if it's needed. The 911-call simulator donated by the Pioneers has a display that lights up, reminding the caller that the 911 operator knows some information about the caller. The device also sounds a buzzer warning when the emergency call is dialed incorrectly.

"Verizon is committed to enhancing educational opportunities for all Delaware youngsters," said Joshua W. Martin III, president of Verizon Delaware. "We believe the simulators will make children aware that every second counts in emergency situations. This is a critically important lesson for young people and the foundation is pleased to play a role in this effort."

"Children are Delaware's most vital resource," said Bob Erne, past president of the Telephone Pioneers' Diamond State Life Member Club. "The 911-simulator program helps to protect children and their families. Making this technology available for classroom use is an important part of our mission. We commend the State Police and the education community for recognizing the need to educate young people so they can get help quickly when there's trouble."

Pioneer members in Delaware chapters donated more than 40,000 hours of community and environmental service last year. Additional Pioneer projects benefiting Delaware include playground maps, electronic maps, personal books for kindergarten students called "A Book About Me" and a Veterans Day American flag program - all for state schools, repairs to "Talking Books for the Blind" for the Library of Congress and handmade teddy bears for emergency agencies to give to children in times of crisis.

Verizon Foundation

Verizon Foundation supports a variety of programs that focus on improving basic and computer literacy, bridging the digital divide, enriching communities through technology and creating a skilled work force. The foundation promotes partnerships in technology with organizations serving the needs of diverse communities, people with disabilities, and the economically and socially disadvantaged. The foundation also supports Verizon Volunteers, an incentive program that encourages Verizon employees to volunteer in their communities and provides matching gifts to nonprofit organizations. For more information on the foundation, visit http://www.verizon.com/foundation on the Internet.

Verizon Communications

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 125 million access line equivalents and approximately 28 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. A Fortune 10 company with about 260,000 employees and more than $65 billion in annual revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.