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#301133 - 07/17/22 09:59 PM Teaching the children
chaosmagnet Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3710
Loc: USA
Friday, Youngest Magnet was gallivanting about and managed to wreck my car. Nobody was injured in the slightest, for which I am quite grateful.

Youngest Magnet’s post-collision actions were less than entirely satisfactory. I will say that YM stopped the car, communicated, spoke respectfully (when calmed down) and told the truth, which are all good things, but the manner of YM’s communications were…well they were pretty darn subpar.

Thankfully, with Find My working on YM’s phone, we were able to get to the scene of the accident, because we sure as heck weren’t able to get that information out of YM.

Since then I have commenced a systematic training regime on how to communicate on the phone when it matters, something I thought I had trained YM on. While YM is facing some consequences for wrecking my car, the training is explicitly not any kind of punishment.

Just a few minutes ago I subjected YM to a pop quiz: “What are the four components of a call to 911?”

The correct answer was:
  • Location: Always lead with this in case the call fails
  • Situation: What happened
  • Injuries: State whether there are any, and describe severity
  • Action: What you want from the dispatcher

In the car, yesterday, I was driving and asked YM to simulate such a call with me repeatedly.

“I’m Westbound on Maple at the intersection with Elm in Townsville. We’ve been rear-ended. Nobody is injured. Please send the police.”

We will continue to practice until I am satisfied with YM’s performance.

The alteration from this structure when communicating with Mrs. Magnet and myself is to lead with “nobody is injured,” if that is the case.

In the Friday evening collision, the other vehicle was far less damaged than mine, the other driver exhibited nothing less than princely behavior, and I found cause to write the chief of police in that town a thank you note for the officer’s kindness with YM. I have the best insurance that can be procured for this eventuality.

#301134 - 07/17/22 10:54 PM Re: Teaching the children [Re: chaosmagnet]
Phaedrus Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 3062
Loc: Big Sky Country
I'm glad no one was harmed! It will be a learning experience for sure.
“I'd rather have questions that cannot be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” —Richard Feynman

#301135 - 07/18/22 03:57 AM Re: Teaching the children [Re: chaosmagnet]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 3110
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Very glad no-one was hurt. "Things" can be fixed and replaced (after a certain amount of hassle).

I think the best of us would be knocked off-centre by a major collision. So no judgy-pants here. I think a "first steps" card in the insurance/registration packet would be a good idea. I would add one myself.

Perhaps OT, but something I see over and over is a curious phenomenon where people in danger automatically appeal to family and friends and social media rather than calling 911 directly. I guess this is how they have learned to perceive the world via smartphones. Worrisome.

#301136 - 07/18/22 12:08 PM Re: Teaching the children [Re: chaosmagnet]
M_a_x Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/16/02
Posts: 1180
Loc: Germany
Glad that nobody was injured.
The idea of education for 911 calls and pointing out that this is no punishment is good. I would not alter the structure of the call. That makes it harder in the case of a - hopefully - rare and unusual event.
As a sidenote:
In German first aid classes the students are tought to wait for the dispatcher to hang up. That allows the dispatcher to ask questions if required.
If it isn´t broken, it doesn´t have enough features yet.

#301139 - 07/25/22 06:29 PM Re: Teaching the children [Re: M_a_x]
adam2 Offline

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 470
Loc: Somerset UK
Here in the UK, as a young child I was taught at school how and when to ring 999, the UK emergency number.
Included how to use a public phone box for an emergency call, and learning that no coins were needed for emergency calls.

How to dial 999 by touch in darkness or smoke, with a rotary dial telephone.

And even how to proceed in case of a "party line" this being a telephone line shared between two subscribers.

And the advice that if no telephone was available, that running to the nearest police station or fire station was a possibility.

This was in the 1960s.


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