9-1-1 for Kids Mentors Youth on Importance of Emergency Notification

Tim Brown stood quietly near the back of the California Highway Patrol gymnasium, his fist clinched and resting comfortably under his chin. He watched, almost embarrassingly, as video highlights of his college football years at Notre Dame and then later as an All-Pro wide receiver with the Oakland Raiders roared through the gym speakers.

Brown, the 1987 Heisman Trophy winner and 2015 Pro Football Hall of Famer, told participants at the 19th annual 9-1-1 for Kids/CHP Tm Brown Mentor Mini Camp that this “is my favorite week of the whole year.” As the International Chairman of 9-1-1 for Kids, Brown has assisted more than 5 million children and teens through mentoring and educational programs, including his mentor mini camp and heroes awards ceremony.

Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci presented Brown with a joint resolution from the California State Legislature declaring April 21 as 9-1-1 for Kids Tim Brown Mentor Mini Camp Day. Ghilarducci also reminded participants of the importance of using 9-1-1 correctly, as well as when and when not to call 9-1-1 and what to say to the dispatcher.

“Believe it or not, of these over 24 million calls that are made to 9-1-1 centers throughout the state, at least half are non-emergencies,” Ghilarducci said.

After Brown and Ghilarducci spoke, CHP cadets warmed up the participants with a quick 5-minute exercise before separating into groups and exiting the gymnasium out back to the spacious football field on the academy’s grounds in West Sacramento. There, mentors and mentees worked together on football drills, with Brown throwing passes to some of the wide-eyed youth receivers.

The previous day, Brown and 9-1-1 for Kids honored dispatchers and youth at the 2017 California State 9-1-1 Heroes Awards ceremony on the west steps of the State Capitol in downtown Sacramento.  Dispatchers Breann Nicholas and Nicolee Wall-Stitt of the CHP Truckee Communications Center and Mary Nelson of San Ramon Valley 9-1-1, as well youth hero Karel Martin, were recognized for their response in life-saving emergencies.

Nicholas and Wall-Stitt were involved in the same emergency earlier this year when commuters were trapped in an avalanche in two separate incidents in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Nicholas was able to obtain a specific location, vehicle description and number of trapped occupants before transferring the call to Cal FIRE. In a similar predicament, Wall-Stitt also relayed critical information to the North Tahoe Fire District Snow Rescue Team to free the victims within 45 minutes.

Martin, a 9-year-old from San Ramon, worked together with Nelson to save Martin’s mother, who suffered from acute abdominal pain. As Martin was being dropped off at school on the morning of January 10, 2017, his mother suddenly began to have severe abdominal pain and soon was unable to speak or move. She also began vomiting.

Martin quickly grabbed his mother’s phone and dialed 9-1-1. Through clear communication from Martin, the dispatcher was able to gather all of the necessary information in order to provide Martin’s mother with the appropriate emergency response to save her life.

Click here for more on 9-1-1 for Kids.



Jonathan Gudel

Jonathan Gudel is a Public Information Officer for the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). Since joining Cal OES, he has assisted in the response and recovery efforts of the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak, the state's historic drought, the Oroville Dam Emergency Spillway Incident, unprecedented winter storms in 2017, the 2017 October (Sonoma County) and December (Santa Barbara County) wildfires, the Camp Fire in 2018, the 2020 statewide fire siege, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Previously, he worked in the newspaper industry for 12 years.

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