NENA’s PSA Press Release

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–June 9, 1997–Imagine calling 9-1-1with an emergency and getting a busy signal, or a fire truck,police car or ambulance isn’t available because it was sent out– on what turns out to be — a non-emergency response.

The National Emergency Number Association (NENA) wants toprevent this and every citizen in the nation can help.

NENA is taking the lead in 9-1-1 public education by featuringDave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s International, in a new nationalpublic service announcement (PSA) campaign to educate the nationregarding when and when NOT to dial 9-1-1 in an emergency.

The nation is experiencing a high rate of non-emergency callsto 9-1-1 in local communities across the nation. It seems a largenumber of the public is not sure what constitutes an actualemergency to require a 9-1-1 call. NENA’s national PSA campaignhopes to clear up any confusion and educate the general publicregarding proper 9-1-1 calling procedures. People across thenation carelessly call 9-1-1 for everything from directions onthe highway to reporting cats that are stuck up in trees. Theseare not emergencies and 9-1-1 is not the number to call. Mostcommunities across the nation have a non-emergency number that isdedicated specifically for such calls.

“I believe educating the public about when to call 9-1-1is really an important issue,” said Dave Thomas. “9-1-1is only for true emergencies: to report a fire, stop a crime orsave a life. Everyone needs to know when and when NOT to call9-1-1.”

The national PSA campaign will be launched at NENA’s 1997Annual Conference on Media Day — Monday, June, 16, 1997 at theBaltimore, Maryland Convention Center. NENA is the nation’slargest 9-1-1 educational organization. NENA’s mission is tofoster the technological advancement, availability, andimplementation of a universal emergency number system. Incarrying out its mission, NENA promotes research, planning,training and education. The protection of human life, thepreservation of property and the maintenance of general communitysecurity are among NENA’s objectives.

“We are very happy to have Dave Thomas help us educatethe nation regarding when to call 9-1-1,” said Bill Stanton,executive director of NENA. “Each non-emergency call to the9-1-1 emergency system is equivalent to a false alarm. If someonewith an actual emergency can’t get through to 9-1-1, or thepolice, fire or EMS professionals are tied up with non-emergencyresponses, the results could be tragic,” Stanton continued.

NENA, with the help of member sponsors, plans to contact localTV stations across the nation to help sponsor and broadcast thenational PSA campaign starting June 16, 1997. Thepublic-education campaign will target sponsorships from TVstations in larger cities across the nation first, and then willseek station sponsors in smaller cities, as well as suburban andrural areas throughout the rest of the nation.. The largestcities in the nation are experiencing more 9-1-1 delays thanother communities due to a larger number of non-emergency callsgoing to 9-1-1.

Most community police, fire and EMS departments now havenon-emergency numbers available to the public. If citizens can’tfind their local non-emergency numbers in their local yellowpages, NENA is asking citizens to call their local city or countyinformation office for these important numbers.

For more information about NENA’s Annual Conference inBaltimore — June 15-19, 1997, call NENA at 800/332-3911 or checkout our website at .

MEDIA NOTE: Media Day for the Conference is Monday, June 16that the Baltimore, Maryland Convention Center. The pressconference will begin approximately 9 a.m. There is also a pressroom available (with coffee) on the second floor of theconvention center for phone calls, interviews and press kits.Press copies of the PSA will be distributed at the conferencealong with photos.


MGP & Associates, Inc. (for NENA)
Mike Paul, 800/306-9018 or 212/877-4390

e-mail: [email protected]


Denny Lynch (for Dave Thomas)





BW1277 JUN 09,1997