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It seems that people nationwide do not know how or when to use 911. People are constantly calling 911 for information and non-emergency calls.

I am not sure if the public is not educated enough on the proper use of 911 or the public in general is just lazy. There are non-emergency numbers posted in every phone book all across the nation and a little thing known at 411, information, can give people these numbers as well. People can even use the new Google information at 1-800-466-4411.

People apparently do not realize that every time they call 911 for something such as their auto being broken into sometime overnight and a purse or laptop was taken because they left it in the auto and they haven’t a clue who did it, they may be taking an emergency dispatcher away from someone calling because a loved one is having a heart attack.

Of course i cannot begin to understand why anyone would leave anything of value in a vehicle in the first place unless it was locked inside the trunk. It is asking for trouble. Obviously the person isn’t thinking at all, but that is another rant entirely.

Another thing that ties up 911 lines are auto accidents on a busy street or highway. Stop and think for a minute. If you did NOT witness this accident and it is in the middle of the day when traffic is heavy and you happen upon an accident or it occurred several cars up in front of you, do you call 911? How many other people do you think have a cell phone and will be calling? There are 6.8 billion people in the world and 5 billion of them currently have a cell phone. This does not include everyone that has a non-service cell phone that can only dial 911. Usually a 911 center is inundated with calls about accidents during peak traffic times when traffic is heavy, which can sometimes delay emergency response by getting the call dispatched.

So, people really need to think, should I call? A rule of thumb is if traffic is heavy, you did not witness the accident and cannot provide details other than it being a car wreck, you probably shouldn’t call. Now, if you are on a highway in the middle of the night with very few cars around and you come upon an accident, definitely call as there is no way to determine how long the accident has been there and since traffic is light, there may not have been anyone else report it, especially if the people in the accident are injured. It is just a matter of thinking.

I also mentioned that cell phones with no service, meaning you took the sim card out of it or you no longer use that phone or cell service, but has a charged battery and the phone will turn on CAN be used to dial 911. I recommend people maybe putting an old cell phone with a charged battery in their glove box for emergencies (prefer a newer model with gps capabilities as it can be tracked) and check the charge occasionally. It can be used to call 911. Let me repeat that, A WORKING CELL PHONE WITH A CHARGED BATTERY BUT HAS NO SERVICE PROVIDER/CONTRACT/SIM CARD CAN BE USED TO CALL 911. Please remember that when you give these phones to babies. toddlers and little kids to play with. There are numerous calls received at 911 centers by kids that are playing with these phones because people do not realize they can be used for 911.

If you read closely above, you may be asking yourself, “did I just read that cell phones can be tracked?” Yes, you did. With technology, many PSAP/911 centers are upgrading to equipment that can track cell phones by using gps and/or triangulation, depending on the wireless provider, to locate the position of the cell phone. Used in conjunction with a mapping system that most upgraded 911 centers have, your position can be located by the dispatcher and you can be tracked just by the click of a button if you are moving. This is why I say to put a newer no service cell in your car that can be tracked. If you were to have an accident and your cell phone is lost somewhere in the car after the accident, and you can reach the glove box, you can turn the phone on and call 911. If you are lucky to be in an area where the 911 center has up to date equipment, they can find you even if you do not know where you are. Yes, I just said “if you are lucky enough to be in an area” where the equipment is up to date. Not all 911 centers can do this but officials are pushing for them to upgrade. It has saved lives.

One more piece of information about 911. Yes, 911 is nationwide. No, you cannot call 911 in one state and be expected to talk to someone in another state. 911 centers are local, usually by county or region/metro. So, if you are talking to a family member that is in Williamsport, PA and you are at home in Jacksonville, FL, and something happens to that family member while you are on the phone with them and you want to call their local police/ems to check on them, you will get Jacksonville 911 if you call 911 because that is where you are. There are no special buttons that can be pushed to automatically transfer you to Williamsport 911. Your local 911 center may give you the number, but only after they have googled it. So, save time, google the numbers yourself and cut out tying up your local center. Just a little info about 911.

With all of the above being said, I have taken some information from the Wood County, WV 911 web site about calling 911 and hope that you will read it and share it with family and friends.

Prepare to educate yourself below.

What is an Emergency?

“An event or occurrence demanding immediate action; or any condition endangering or thought to be endangering life or property”

Emergency

* Accidents with Injuries
* Fire (or smell of smoke)
* Crime in Progress
* Breathing Problems
* Choking/unconscious person
* Poisoning
* Drowning
* Stabbing, shooting
* Fights or displays of weapons
* Other life-threatening situations

Not An Emergency

* Minor accidents (no injuries)
* Barking dogs
* Late report of crime
* Power outage during a storm
* Abandoned vehicle
* Loud Parties
* Weather and road conditions
* Keys locked in vehicle
* Runaways
* Legal advice

CALLING 911

DO NOT call 9-1-1 for information, directory assistance, when you’re bored and just want to talk, for paying tickets, for your pet, as a prank.

What About 9-1-1 Prank Calls?

It’s a prank call when someone calls 9-1-1 for a joke, or calls 9-1-1 and hangs up. Prank calls not only waste time and money, but can also be dangerous. If 9-1-1 lines or Telecommunicators are busy with prank calls, someone with a real emergency may not be able to get the help they need. In most places, it’s against the law to make prank 9-1-1 calls.

If you call 9-1-1 by mistake, DO NOT hang up. Tell the Telecommunicator what happened so they know there is not an emergency.

Dialing Tips and Procedures

If an emergency situation arises (a crime, a fire, a serious injury or illness) ask yourself whether POLICE, FIRE DEPARTMENT, or MEDICAL assistance is needed RIGHT NOW to protect life or property. If the answer is yes, then immediately dial 9-1-1 and tell the Telecommunicator what has happened or is happening. If you are ever in doubt of whether a situation is an emergency you should call 9-1-1. It’s better to be safe and let the 9-1-1 Telecommunicator determine if you need emergency assistance.

When Dialing 911 You Should

* Stay calm. Give your name, location, and nature of the emergency.
* Listen carefully to the Telecommunicator for helpful information.
* Answer the Telecommunicator’s questions as accurately as possible. Speak clearly and slowly.
* NEVER hang up on the 9-1-1 Telecommunicator until you are told to do so.
* If there’s a fire, stay low in the smoke and get out of the house. Call from a neighbor’s house or pay phone.

Ideas to Help at Home

* Keep your phone at an easy to reach level, like on the coffee table.
* A cordless phone offers you mobility in your home.
* Write your address and telephone number in large print on or near your phone.
* Make sure your address is on the FRONT of your house.
* Do not program 9-1-1 into the speed dial. It can inadvertently be dialed.
* TEACH your children how to use 9-1-1 for emergencies.

Hearing/Speech Impaired Callers

Communications centers that answer 9-1-1 calls have special text telephones to respond to 9-1-1 calls from deaf or hearing/speech impaired callers.If a caller uses a TTY/TDD, the caller should:

* Stay calm, place the phone receiver in the TTY, dial 9-1-1.
* After the call is answered, press the TTY keys several times. This may help shorten the time necessary to respond to the call.
* Give the telecommunicator time to connect their TTY. If necessary, press the TTY keys again. The 9-1-1 telecommunicator should answer and type “GA” for go ahead.
* Tell the telecommunicator what the emergency is and what assistance you require; tell him or her if you need the fire department, police, or EMS. Give your name, phone number, and the address where help is needed.
* Stay on the telephone if it is safe. Answer the telecommunicator’s questions.

Types of Phones You Can Use

* Touch Tone
* Cordless
* Rotary
* Cellular/Mobile
* Pay Phones (No money is needed–simply press the numbers 9-1-1)
* TDD/TTY (Deaf and Hearing/Speech Impaired)

Calling 911 on a Cellular Phone

* If you are in your vehicle, pull off to the side of the road
* Dial 9-1-1
* Tell the Telecommunicator the location of the emergency and your call back cellular phone number.
* Be Patient.

Ready to Call 911?

9-1-1 Telecommunicators are trained to get as much information as possible regarding 9-1-1 calls. To be ready to answer their questions, read these examples of the three most common 9-1-1 calls:

* Automobile Accident
o Give the Street and block number or the nearest major location.
o Tell if there are injuries.
o Report information such as fuel spills, possible fire danger, etc.
* Suspicious Person
o Give the sex, race, age of the person(s).
o Give a clothing description.
o Describe the suspicious activity.
* Suspicious Vehicle
o Get the vehicle description, color, make, model, year, and anything unusual about the vehicle. Try to tell all that you can.
o Are there people in the vehicle? If so, how many? Age? Race? Sex? Clothing description?
o Is the vehicle parked or moving? If it’s moving, tell the direction of travel.

What to do if you can’t speak

* Stay calm
* Dial 9-1-1
* Either leave the phone hanging or make some sort of noise to let the dispatcher know there is an emergency.

In an emergency, remember to…

* Dial 9-1-1
* Stay Calm
* State which emergency service you need: Police/Sheriff, Fire Department, Emergency Medical Service
* Speak Clearly
* State your emergency
* State your address–it’s very important to verify your address

Remember reasons to call 9-1-1 are:

* Crimes in progress (this means shots fired, disturbances, suspicious persons or activities, crimes involving serious injury)
* Accidents, accidents with injury
* Life and Death Situations
* Medical Emergencies
* Someone is Injured
* To Prevent a Crime
* To Report a Fire

Tips for Seniors

* Invest in a touch-tone phone with large, easy-to-read numbers. Put a DIAL 9-1-1 reminder next to the phone.
* Keep your medical history and a list of the medications you are taking in an envelope taped to your refrigerator with your doctor’s name and phone number on it.
* Do not dial “0” for help. DIAL 9-1-1

Download the 911 Information Sheet

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What a way to honor our Marines. An outstanding Sheriff Deputy was fired for having a tattoo on the inside of his forearm of praying hands and dog tags. He and his platoon lost one of their own while serving in Iraq and the entire platoon got the same tattoo in memory of the soldier. I would say the Sheriff needs to revise his tattoo policy. They hired him knowing he had the tattoo and fired him without due process after he served his probation period.

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Parkersburg News article link

Wood County deputy fired over tattoo
Natalee Seely
POSTED: April 29, 2010

PARKERSBURG – A former Wood County deputy is fighting for his job after being fired in April over a tattoo on his forearm.

Christopher Piggott, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and former Parkersburg firefighter, said the circumstances of his termination were unfair and his right to due process was violated.

“I’m not ready to give up my career in law enforcement. Being a deputy is something I’ve pursued all my life,” said 29-year-old Piggott. “This whole situation has dumbfounded a lot of people.”

Piggott received a letter of termination April 15, a little over a year after being hired by the Wood County Sheriff’s Office and 11 days after the conclusion of his year-long probationary period, he said.

The termination was over Piggott’s refusal to remove a tattoo on his right forearm depicting two praying hands cupping a Marine Corps ID tag, an image memorializing his five years of service in the armed forces and his two tours of service in Iraq.

Above the hands is the phrase “Unless you were there,” etched in ink.


In 2008, the sheriff’s office implemented a new policy restricting visible tattoos. The policy states, “Tattoos are not to be visible while wearing the summer uniform.”

During his time as a deputy sheriff, Piggott said he covered the tattoo while on duty by wrapping a fitted black band around his forearm or wearing a long-sleeved uniform.

When asked to have the tattoo removed, Piggott refused. A few days later he was terminated, found to be in violation of the rules of conduct and personal appearance, he said.

“I was terminated rather quickly, and no due process was given,” said Piggott. “I feel it was dealt with in an unprofessional way.”

Piggott declined to confirm whether he signed any documentation when hired about agreeing to have his tattoo removed within a certain time frame.

Officials with the Wood County Deputy Sheriff’s Association said the heart of the issue is the violation of the former deputy’s right to a board review before his termination.

Lt. Shawn Graham, president of the Wood County Deputy Sheriff’s Association, said once a deputy’s probationary period has ended, he should be given the right to due process. Citing West Virginia Code 7-14-C, Graham said punitive issues should be presented to a review board before action is taken.

“We feel he was fired without proper procedure. The deputy sheriff’s association held a meeting on his behalf and voted to support Chris and try to get his job back,” said Graham. “I think we are doing what is in the best interest of the citizens. To lose one of our best officers over something like this is wrong.”

The Wood County Deputy Sheriff’s Association notified Wood County Sheriff Jeff Sandy about its decision to support Piggott. Graham said the association is lobbying for his reinstatement.

“I know many of our deputies have tattoos, and I think they are more socially acceptable now. I can’t think of anyone who would be offended by a tattoo,” said Graham. “The bottom line is, Chris is a fine young man and an asset to the sheriff’s office. His heart is in law enforcement.”

Piggott and his attorney George Cosenza have sent a letter to Sandy requesting reinstatement. A pre-disciplinary hearing was scheduled for May 19, but was postponed because several witnesses were unavailable, said Cosenza.

“I think there are legitimate issues that need to be resolved, and we are just in the beginning stages. Now that the sheriff has decided on punitive action, Piggott is entitled to a pre-disciplinary hearing,” said Cosenza. “There are issues regarding how he was notified of his termination and what exactly his status is now.”

Cosenza said Piggott was sent a letter of termination that advised him of his rights, and he is exercising his right to a pre-disciplinary hearing.

“If the review board believes punitive action should not be taken, the sheriff has a right to appeal to the civil service commission, and the same goes for Piggott. Depending on the outcome, the matter could end up in circuit court,” he said. “I do not believe a deputy sheriff can be fired without a pre-disciplinary hearing, and we have not yet had that hearing.”

Sandy said he could not comment on personnel issues under the advisement of Wood County Prosecutor Jason Wharton.

While Piggott awaits a decision, he has been working various construction jobs.

“I’m just trying to get reinstated. I’m a little nervous about the outcome,” Piggott said. “One of the big reasons I would feel comfortable going back to the department is because I know a lot of the deputies are backing me up.”

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WV State Police Corporal A Pringle


West Virginia state trooper who was struck while on a traffic stop remains in serious condition.

Drunk driver that struck WV Trooper out on bond. For update click here: WTAP.Com

If you would like to help Corporal Pringle and his family, please remember him in your thoughts or it pray and/or send any donations to the address below.

Donations can be sent to:

Cpl. Andrew Pringle Fund
c/o Tonja Pringle
Huntington National Bank
Star Route 80 Box 3
Harrisville, WV 26362

Here is the photo of the drunk driver who struck the trooper

Accused Drunk Driver

Here is a link from WSAZ TV news story regarding this event.

WSAZ TV – Charleston

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UPDATE: WV Trooper struck by drunk driver.

Trooper Pringle has 2 leg fractures, spine and skull fractures and head injury but his condition has changed according to hospital reports. Please check out all of the links posted below for Trooper Pringle, especially the Facebook page to show your concern and support at this critical time. Thank you.

Click here for update information

Original post is here: Original post

Facebook page for Trooper Pringle

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Please pray for WV State Trooper Pringle, who was struck by a drunk driver while on a traffic stop in Ritchie County, WV
He is in critical condition with major trauma injuries.

Facebook page for Tpr Pringle

UPDATE: Upgraded from Critical to Serious. Trooper is starting to respond non-verbally

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UPDATE: State Corporal in Serious Condition
WTAP News
A West Virginia State Police Corporal is in serious condition at a Charleston hospital, after being hit by vehicle during a traffic stop.

UPDATE: 4/25 9:30PM

A West Virginia State Police Corporal is in serious condition at a Charleston hospital, after being hit by vehicle during a traffic stop.

Officials tell us a little before 9:00 Saturday night, Corporal Andy Pringle of the Harrisville detachment was conducting a traffic stop near Cisco.

During the stop, a vehicle driven by Jessie Parsons of McFarlan hit the cruiser and Corporal Pringle.

Pringle had another trooper with him who he was training, his name his Trooper Honaker, and he was also hit by the vehicle, but only suffered minor injuries.

Corporal Pringle was taken to Charleston Area Medical Center.

Parsons is at the North Central Regional Jail and is charged with DUI Causing Bodily Injury.

Corporal Pringle is in serious condition in the ICH, but officials tell us that doctors have seen some signs of progress.

The crash investigation continues.

________________________________________________________
UPDATE: April 25th, 2010 10:37AM

West Virginia State Police say on April April 24, at approximately 8:45pm, Corporal A. M. Pringle of the Harrisville Detachment of the West Virginia State Police was conducting a vehicle traffic stop near Cisco, West Virginia. During the traffic stop, another vehicle being driven by Mr. Jessie D. Parsons (63 years of age, from McFarlan, West Virginia) struck Corporal Pringle’s West Virginia State Police issued Ford Crown Victoria and then struck Corporal Pringle alongside the roadway.

Corporal Pringle suffered serious injuries and was initially transported to Camden Clark Hospital in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Eventually, Corporal Pringle was transported to Charleston Area Medical Center to receive further treatment.

Mr. Parsons was arrested for driving under the influence causing bodily injury and subsequently transported to the North Central Regional Jail.

No word on Corporal Pringle’s condition at this point. WTAP will keep you informed as details unfold.
__________________________________________________________
A West Virginia State Trooper has been taken to the hospital with unknown injuries.

The details are slow to come in at this point, but officials with the Wood County 911 center tell us a Ritchie County State Trooper has been taken to Camden Clark Memorial Hospital.

Around 9:00 Saturday evening, police cruisers were clearing a path through downtown Parkersburg streets to make way for the ambulance transporting the trooper.

Again, that’s all the information we have at this time, but we will keep you updated with the latest.

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W.Va. state trooper seriously injured during traffic stop
From staff reports

PARKERSBURG-A West Virginia State Police Trooper was seriously injured during a routine traffic stop Saturday evening when he was struck by another motorist.

Reports from dispatchers said the incident occurred at the intersection of West Virginia 47 and Newark Road in Ritchie County. Area residents calling The Parkersburg News and Sentinel said Newark Road had been closed to traffic. There were calls on police radios about an officer down in Ritchie County.

Dispatchers with the West Virginia State Police said as of 10:45 p.m. no information was available regarding the trooper’s identity or condition.

Dispatchers at the Wood County 911 Center said Wood County law enforcement officers were called out around 9 p.m. to keep the roadways to Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital clear. Weather conditions Saturday evening may have precluded the use of a helicopter for transportation.

The dispatcher said a trooper had been injured, but no other information was available.

Calls to the state police public information officer for confirmation were not returned late Saturday.

A hospital spokeswoman referred questions about the incident to the Wood County detachment of the state police.

Subscribe to Parkersburg News and Sentinel

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Not all police officers are good ones and a few bad apples sometimes spoil the barrel, BUT, if you had to put up with people verbally abusing you, spitting on you, resisting arrest, trying to fight you when you try to arrest them, then you wouldn’t complain. Police officers put their lives on the line everyday. The use of a taser is a non-lethal (98%) way to subdue some asshole that is breaking the law or is being disorderly. I saw someone post on AOL that cops shouldn’t be allowed to use a taser on women and some called an officer a coward. Women can be just as belligerent and difficult to restrain and arrest as a man, especially if intoxicated. I haven’t seen the latest video about the “soccer mom” being tased in front of her kids so I cannot comment on it. Just remember that video doesn’t always show the true story if there is no audio. You cannot hear what the person is saying, you cannot see if the person showed aggression in their facial gestures because most video is not that clear. If you cannot hear the person defying a law enforcement officers command to follow a procedure that most departments train for when dealing with a situation then that person is putting the officers safety at risk. A police officer has no idea who the person is, if they are armed, if they are high on drugs and getting out of your vehicle without being told to is asking for trouble. The officer just kicked into the next level of safety training and wondering what the hell this person is on or is hiding by exiting their vehicle and being verbally belligerent. And contrary to what a lot of people living in this society may believe is that, yes, even soccer moms can have drugs, sell drugs, be high on drugs. A large part of society doesn’t see the underbelly of society as most are sleeping during the times the dregs of society are usually out and about. Like I said before, not all officers are good, some are lazy, some are power hungry and some are just pricks that want nothing better than to ruin someones day when a warning would suffice. BUT, most are out there protecting our lives from scum who mean to harm us. They live in danger everytime they strap on the gun and put on a badge. So give them a break, show them support, especially in this day and age when they have to juggle what the courts tell them they can and can’t do while sometimes leaving them open to lawsuits. I’m stepping off of my soapbox now and have included a video link for you to watch if you’ve made it this far. Tasers help officers subdue idiots that may end up hurting themselves, someone else or the officer with no harm (majority of the time) to the person.

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