One of these items that many may remember was, “Who you gonna call?” While not containing proper English, this portion of a song from a popular movie will probably be recalled to your memory for days now. I’m sorry, but the idea is relevant to today’s column.
In the same time period as that phrase caught on, another system was beginning to take hold and become a part of our society — and a very important part for that matter. It is the 911 phone number for emergencies.
This one small group of numbers could be used across the nation to summon help in a time of medical, safety or disaster emergency. Once dialed, the professionally trained operators who received the phone call had at their disposal the ability to direct or dispatch multiple different professionals and equipment to provide assistance in an emergency.
This same concept has also been at the heart of one of our community’s newest services, the 211 phone number.
United Way of Bradley County, with the support and help of many concerned citizens and other professionals, is bringing this wonderful new service to all in our community. If you have Internet service and would be interested in a brief You Tube description video, one is available for viewing at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jijN1qMlU_o&feature=youtu.be.
If not, our local United Way Community Action Network group has brochures and information available for the public at its offices on Ocoee Street, or by calling 423-479-2020. You may also send questions to them by email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information as well.
Our community has been, is and hopefully will always be blessed with many different agencies that seek to help and assist those individuals and families in need. This new approach to connecting the programs and assistance to those in need has been a focus of our region for years. But without a single source of information, the efforts of many were not reaching those they were intended to serve.
One of the goals of the Mayors Coalition was to present a network of opportunity in such a way as to avoid duplication of efforts, while also streamlining the entire process to increase the ability for those in need to find the assistance they needed. The 211 phone number should take this concept to an entirely new level.
Not only do those in need have to remember only one number, but those who have a heart, and a ministry of service to offer, have only one number to remember to be added to the list of available providers. A thorough screening process has been adopted to ensure the best possible outcome for both the provider and the recipient. Add to this the availability of 24-hour coverage by professionally trained American operators who have access to many languages, and the formula for success becomes even more complete.
Please join with me in thanking ALL involved for financing as well as providing this service.
If you have been looking for a place to volunteer or just want to make sure that your existing group or ministry are listed in this directory of available services, please make sure to become involved today.
These are exciting times and I am proud to welcome the addition of 211 services to our area.
This is just one more reason that Bradley County is Tennessee at its best!