Sussex County event teaches kids what it takes to be a first responder

SUSSEX Co., Del. – On Thursday, the Sussex County Emergency Operations Center hosted its 20th annual 911 Awareness Day.

Joe Thomas, the Director of Sussex County Emergency Services said, “This is all about educating the kids about public safety and what happens when you call 911.”

Over a thousand kids attended Thursdays event.

One girl named Zapura said, “I feel like it was a good experience because if you want to do this, it kind of shows you what they do and how to do it.”

Dispatchers, fire fighters, paramedics and police were all on hand giving kids an idea of what they go through on a day to day basis.

Ronald Millman, a firefighter said, “We’ve got to have somebody take over for us when we’re done and the only way to get the word out and to teach the kids to do it is to get them interested in wanting to do it is by having an event like this.”

When an emergency happens, the response first starts in the dispatch center.

Bailey Millman, a dispatcher said, “If somebody needs help we’re the ones sending it.”

Dispatchers are responsible for getting people the help they need all while remaining calm and under control.

Millman said, “You have to be very patient with people. It can be very stressful, you just have to take your time, listen. Listening is very important.”

Once first responders are dispatched, they have to act fast.

Matthew Troutman, a paramedic field training officer said, “We during the day have to be out the door in under 90 seconds.”

These responders have to stay strong in all situations.

Ronald Millman said, “You have got to be strong, you have got to be mentally fit because you’re seeing a lot of different things. You’re seeing people at their worst.”

Thanks to Thursday’s event, kids across Sussex County now know what to expect when they call 911, and this allows them to build a better relationship with their first responders.

Roland Millman said, “They get to know our firefighters and the police officers. So they get to know they’re friendly, they don’t have to be scared of them, or hide from a fire fighters or things like that.”

We’re told about 1,200 kids attended Thursday’s event.

Categories: Delaware, Local News