9-1-1 Education

Driving down the street in Snyder, you notice a crowd gathered around a large pink rectangle with arms and legs in a big green tent. After a double-take, you realize the pink rectangle is actually Cell Phone Sally, Texas’ 9-1-1 mascot. Alongside Sally, you will always find Deputy Jeanette Pritchard from Scurry County Sheriff’s Office, handing out goodies and educating the community about how to use 9-1-1 in an emergency. The star of her own video, Cell Phone Sally is joined by a cast of friends that teach children about how, when, and when not to use 9-1-1. Cell Phone Sally was developed by the Texas 9-1-1 Public Educators and the Texas Commission on State Emergency Communications. The video is available in Spanish as well as open captioned and can be provided in DVD format by a local 9-1-1 public educator or on-line at YouTube.com. Deputy Pritchard is in her third year using the Cell Phone Sally video and materials in the elementary schools of Ira, Hermleigh and Snyder. The students respond well to the video and Deputy Pritchard’s presentations. “When I have Sally out at a community event, I always have a large number of children who call out to Sally for a wave or run up for quick hugs. “This gives me an opportunity to speak with adults about 9-1-1 and how they can help first responders when there is an emergency. One of the more important ways they can help us help them in an emergency is to post their house number in a clearly visible spot on their house, mailbox, or entrance to property.” When educating adults specifically, Deputy Pritchard uses a presentation she created, All About 9-1-1. The presentation is about 45 minutes to an hour long (depending on how many questions are posed by the audience). She has presented to the following groups in the recent past: the Senior Citizens Center, the Lion’s Club, the Kiwanis Club, the Rotary Club, the Altrurian Daughter’s Club, and the Atheneum Study Club. If your group is interested in having Deputy Pritchard present at your meeting, please call her at the Scurry County Sheriff’s Office. Another exciting and innovative way she is reaching the community is through a monthly radio show, Bonding with the Badge, airing the second Wednesday of each month at 1:30pm on KSNY Radio 101.5 FM. Topics focus on safety and have included: all about 9-1-1, registered sex offenders, how to prepare for wildfires and disasters, traveling in bad weather, motor vehicle accidents, seat belt safety, and car seats. The show is nearing it’s first anniversary! Some of the community events that you may have met Cell Phone Sally and Deputy Pritchard at are: the grand opening at Crickett Wireless, Liberty Tax, Cogdell Health Fair, the city park during the chamber of competence event, Halloween in the Park, Fourth of July in the Park, Lights On After School , and a float in the Christmas Parade. At a recent quarterly meeting of the 9-1-1 Public Educators of Texas, Deputy Pritchard was recognized and awarded a plaque as the 9-1-1 Public Educator of the Quarter for her efforts to educate residents in her region. Joe Rogers, Director for the Regional 9-1-1 Program at the West Central Texas Council of Governments, says, “To put it bluntly, Jeanette is a “public educator” force to be reckoned with! We are very proud of her for the dedication to her profession and the lengths she goes to, ensuring the safety of her county’s residents.”