NENA Hero Program














Join Us for the 2002
NENA 9-1-1 Hero Program!
NENA is inviting all our Chapters to participate in the 2002 NENA 9-1-1 Hero Program. This exciting program debuted at the conference last year, and because recognizing children for the proper use of 9-1-1 is such a benefit to communities everywhere and to 9-1-1, we’re extending the program so that everyone has the opportunity to participate. It is up to your Chapter whether you participate in the program, but regardless, we encourage you and members throughout your state to recognize 9-1-1 heroes as a means of raising public awareness for 9-1-1. Please contact your NENA Chapter president about participating in the NENA 2002 Program, or feel free to use the information and documents below to craft your own community recognition program.

We want to thank all the communities and NENA Chapters that have already been actively recognizing 9-1-1 Heroes. Your programs and dedication have helped give us the inspiration to do this program on a National level and provide members with the tools they need to make Hero recognition part of their local 9-1-1 education efforts.

9-1-1 saves lives, and educating children—and adults—in our communities is an important part of that. If your Chapter decides to participate this year, make your hero feel special and welcome on behalf of NENA and 9-1-1, and have a great time!

About the NENA 9-1-1 Hero Program

The National Emergency Number Association (NENA) implemented its 9-1-1 Hero Program in 2001, and now encourages NENA Chapters and 9-1-1 systems throughout the US and beyond to recognize 9-1-1 Heroes in their areas. Recognizing children for heroic 9-1-1 calls helps promote public education and awareness about 9-1-1 and “One Nation—One Number.”

The NENA 9-1-1 Hero Program is an important and fun program for 9-1-1, and raises awareness for the industry and the Association. Through NENA’s Chapters and members, we are working together to help educate the public about the importance of learning about 9-1-1, and using the service correctly. NENA has fine-tuned the program after its debut in 2001, and is excited to have as many NENA Chapters and communities participating now.

NENA Chapters that participate in the program may forward their 9-1-1 Hero’s information to NENA Headquarters for consideration for the NENA Annual 9-1-1 Hero Award. NENA then selects one Chapter Hero as a representative to the NENA National Annual Conference each June. Here, the representative Hero is recognized for their bravery and can see the excitement and dedication of our 9-1-1 community. This also proves to be truly motivating for NENA members and conference attendees, as they can see first-hand the difference they make and are reminded of the importance of 9-1-1 public education.

Planning Your Chapter or Community 9-1-1 Hero Event

Your NENA Chapter 9-1-1 Hero event doesn’t need to be big and flashy, but there are some key components you will want to be sure to include. Beyond these, this is your event! Have a great time with it, be creative, and most of all, remember the importance of educating our communities about 9-1-1.

Choosing a Location

Deciding where to honor your Hero will likely have a lot to do with where your Chapter officers are located, and where your hero is from. A central location is probably best, and one that media have easy access to. Holding the event in a city with a good amount of newspaper and television media by might mean they are more likely to attend. Some location suggestions are: a local 9-1-1 center, the city or town hall or lawn, an already planned sports/entertainment or social event.

Inviting the Media

One of the most important things to remember is to invite the media to your event. Most people will never know about your Hero and your public education message if the press and T.V. news don’t help you spread the word. Use the Sample Press Release to customize your message and send to, at least, media in the area in which the event will be held. A press release can be faxed or mailed to media, and a follow-up phone call will help alert them to your event. You might want to engage the help of your Chapter members to distribute the release to their local media as well, and be sure to invite media from the Hero’s home town!

Inviting Other Organizations & Guests

The more the merrier, right? Don’t forget to invite other organizations and guests to your event. You may just want to invite the other public safety agencies in your area, or extend the invitation farther if space and your agenda permit. If any of the organizations have mascots, such as McGruff the Crime Dog or Sparky the Fire Dog, be sure to invite them, too! Since this is a “kid” event, you may want to invite children from the area to join you.


You might consider finding ways to make your event more fun and meaningful for the children and their families. Making your event into a public safety affair could help add excitement. Consider asking organizations in the area the event will be held to participate. Some ideas are: Police Department, Fire Department, Poison Control, Red Cross, Heart Association, your local Safe Kids coalition, area hospitals and other safety related agencies or companies. Many of these may already have educational booths or materials that could contribute to your event. Consider entertainment for the kids, too. An area poet, storyteller or musician may be able to craft an appropriate piece to read or tell during the event.

Locating Sponsors

If there are costs involved in your Chapter Hero event, you may want to solicit sponsorship for the program. If you are planning on entertainment, food, games, etc., consider talking with NENA commercial members in your Chapter and businesses in your community to see if they would be willing to donate items or help with some of the costs. Remember, if you use sponsors, be sure to recognize them at your event, in your press release, and if possible, in any media coverage you get.

Honoring Your Hero

NENA has produced a couple products that will help you honor your 9-1-1 Hero, including the NENA 9-1-1 Hero medal and T-shirt. These will soon be available on the NENA Online Store.  You may also want to reward your hero with a certificate or plaque. It’s most cost-effective to use paper and award suppliers in your area for these two options.

Certificate paper is widely available through office supply stores like Staples and Office Max, as well as catalog companies like Paper Direct at You should be able to use your word processing program and an ink jet or laser printer to make the certificates, including the information you feel is pertinent to your Hero and your celebration.

Award plaques should also be able to be ordered locally from a variety of suppliers. Check your local Yellow Pages for ‘plaques’ or ‘trophies.’

Download Sample 9-1-1 Hero Documents and Forms:

Sample Press Release and Press Release Hints (Adobe PDF)
Sample Official Letter to 9-1-1 Hero (Adobe PDF)
Sample 9-1-1 Hero Certificate (Adobe PDF)
9-1-1 Hero Nomination Form (Adobe PDF)
9-1-1 Hero Publicity Waiver (Adobe PDF)
About the Program and NENA (Adobe PDF)


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Updated: 03/20/2002 02:33:46 PM -0500