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Know how to make the right call in emergencies.

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Senator the Hon Helen Coonan Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate

Media Release

Media contact: Katherine Meier 0417 441 141

114/07 Monday 20 August 2007

Know how to make the right call in emergencies

The Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator the Hon Helen Coonan, today launched a National Awareness Campaign designed to promote Australia’s emergency number, including when to call triple zero (000) and what to do once you have.

“Hopefully, the majority of us will never have to make the call to triple zero but, if we need to, it is critical that we know what to do,” Senator Coonan said.

“To access help from police, fire or ambulance in an emergency situation, it is vital to stay calm, answer the operator’s questions about which service you need and your location, and stay on the line.”

Around 12 million calls are made to triple zero each year. However, around 60 per cent of do not relate to a genuine emergency situation requiring police, fire or ambulance.

“These calls tie up the resources of the emergency service organisations that could be better used helping people in genuine need,” Senator Coonan said.

The national campaign features the key messages ‘stay focussed’, ‘stay relevant’ and ‘stay on the line’ and point to a website developed by Emergency Management Australia. The site will provide information about Australia’s emergency number and a portal to state and territory emergency service websites.

The campaign is a collaborative effort between the Australian Government and state and territory emergency service organisations.

“I am particularly pleased that a key element of the campaign, which features the characters from the popular entertainment group ‘The Hooley Dooleys’, aims to raise children’s awareness of the emergency call service,” Senator Coonan said.

Visit the campaign website at