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911 simulator helps kids prepare for emergency situations

Posted at 6:38 PM, Oct 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-10 19:38:10-04

FREMONT, Neb. (KMTV) — 911 might be an easy number to remember, but when you have to call it during a stressful situation you may find yourself unprepared for some questions, and that concern only increases for kids.

"I don't think (children) ever really considered what happens after somebody answers," says Shelly Holzerland, Communications Director of Dodge County.

Sometimes when kids do call, they freeze up when information is needed. "They call 911 and they just stop, they're on the line but you can't get any information from them," says Holzerland.

Dodge County recently received a 911 simulator. The unit has a cell phone which kids use to call a phone that doesn't connect to a wireless network, where a dispatcher will answer. The dispatcher will ask them questions as if it was a real emergency to help them get practice.

Having kids ready to provide that information means dispatch can get first responders to the needed location faster. "Soon as dispatch gets that information we can be dispatched as soon as possible, there wouldn't be any delays in getting that critical information from the caller," says Todd Bernt, Chief of the Fremont Fire Department.

If you'd like a chance to use the simulator, you can visit the Nickerson Volunteer Fire Department Open House Saturday, 10/12.