Senior Safety Phones Project
The Area Agency on Aging has a Senior Safety Phone Project that provides seniors with a cell phone that can be used to call 911 in case of an emergency.
It is federal law that every cell phone be able to call 9-1-1 even if the cell phone is no longer affiliated with a cell phone carrier. This means that all of the old cell phones no longer in use could be a valuable resource. Seniors will feel safer knowing that they can call 9-1-1 in an emergency.
Donations of no longer used cell phones and chargers are taken at several locations
in Pinellas and Pasco Counties. Every phone that can be recharged can
be a life saver for our seniors. Those that do not work are also accepted to be re-cycled. Receipts are available upon request.
If you have any questions about this project, please call Cathy Stallings at (727) 570-9696 ext. 259 in Pinellas County, or Kathy Cornwell (727) 861-1933 for Pasco County.
WHAT ARE SAFETY PHONES?
- The goal for SAFETY PHONES is to enhance the safety of senior crime victims and seniors at-risk of becoming victims of crime with the use and access of 9-1-1 through cellular phones.
- The purpose of using a SAFETY PHONE is to dial 9-1-1 when faced with an emergency.
- A cellular telephone is lent for a period of time, by the Senior Victim Advocate Program, Area Agency on Aging of Pinellas and Pasco Counties.
- You are not responsible for any cost. This program is a free service to seniors.
WHERE TO DONATE OR PICK UP A SAFETY PHONE
9-1-1 cell phones are available to seniors through the Area Agency on Aging and a variety of sites in Pasco and Pinellas Counties. Call the Senior Helpline for the collection and distribution sites in both counties and for more information about out how to donate or receive a 9-1-1 cell phone. Call 1-800-96-ELDER, (1-800-963-5337). For inquiries from outside of the area call 727-217-8111.
HOW TO USE SAFETY PHONES
- Use Your Safety Phone when you are confronted with an emergency and need to call 9-1-1. The 9-1-1 call is automatically routed to the public safety dispatching center for law enforcement, fire and medical agencies that serve the area from which you are calling.
- Your Safety Phone can only be used to call “911;” it cannot make calls to any numbers besides “911″ and it cannot receive any calls
- Only turn on your Safety Phone to call “911″ during an emergency or to test the battery
How To Charge Your Safety Phone & Make Sure It Is Working
- Your phone will have a battery indicator picture on the phone’s screen to tell you how much battery power your phone has
- When you turn on your phone and words appear in the window, your phone is charged
- When your battery indicator shows that your phone has less than 50% power, charge your phone overnight by plugging your phone into the charging device
- Make sure that the charging device is plugged into a working wall outlet
How to Practice Using Your Safety Phone
- Turn on your cell phone by holding down the power button until words appear on the window screen of the phone
- Push “311″ or possibly “611″ (Dialing “311 or 611″ is a way to practice using your phone-Do not use “911″ to practice – save “911″ for emergencies only)
- Push the “Send” or “green” or ” talk” button
- If you hear a recorded message, then your phone works and can be used to dial “911″
- Turn off your phone (Keep the phone off until you need it)
- Carry your phone with you when you go out; keep it on your nightstand in case you need it during the night; wear clothes with pockets and keep your phone with you at all times
- Do not expect that your phone’s battery power will last an entire 24 hours
- Avoid leaving your phone in a hot car, as it may deplete your phone’s battery power
- If you do not receive a message when you practice with your phone, try to direct the phone’s antenna to a window or open doorway
- Pay attention to your phone’s battery indicator, so that you always know how much power your phone has or if your phone needs to be charged
- On occasion, practice with your phone (by dialing “311″ or “611″) from a location that you frequent often, in order to make sure your phone will work. (Examples: a grocery store, the mall, your hallway or elevator, etc.)
- Be aware of your surroundings and the location of your phone—BE SAFE!!
- This telephone only has the capability to dial “911″ and is unable to make calls to any numbers other than “911″
- This emergency telephone cannot receive incoming calls
- “911″ Centers do not have the ability to determine the location of calls made to “911″ by my cell phone, so I must be able to tell them where I am
- The Senior Victim Advocate Program is not responsible for the timing of a response from authorities for a “911″ call–as the response time will depend on the location from where my “911″ call is made
- Calls made from cell phones may sometimes fail to transmit because of variations in the weather, mountain ranges, or other factors
SAFETY PHONES do not provide you with any different or improved protection nor do they guarantee your personal safety. You must agree to take steps to protect yourself.
WHEN TO USE 9-1-1
- If you need police, fire or medical assistance, dial 9-1-1 and tell the dispatcher what the problem is and where the assistance is needed.
- Stay on the line. Your call will be answered by trained personnel who will send you the help you need.
- If you want general information or have non-emergency needs to address with someone from the police or fire department in your area, please dial the administrative number listed in your telephone directory.