Published 12:54 am Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Down East Seniors Club held its Aug. 12 meeting at the Blind Center of North Carolina in Washington. President Stewart Rumley led the meeting. Bill Cheshire led the singing of “God Bless America,” and John Tunstall gave the invocation. Dick Robinson and Dick Paul provided humor.

New member Tom Pilbeam was introduced.

Program Chairman Stewart Rumley introduced Vic Williams, director of Beaufort County Emergency Communications (BCEC). Mr. Williams said his department handles all 911 calls made in Beaufort County and relays the information to appropriate agencies — sheriff, police, fire or others, depending on the need and the location of the need. He emphasized that 911 calls are to be made only for “life or death” emergencies. All other calls should be made to the agency needed, such as sheriff, police, fire, animal control, etc. When you dial 911, do not hang up until you are told to do so. If the number is dialed mistakenly, tell the 911 operator that, then wait until told to hang up. If a 911 call is received and the caller says nothing, law enforcement will be sent to the address to see if there really is an emergency and the caller could not speak. It is preferred that a landline phone be used for 911 calls because its location is immediately displayed to the 911 operator. Cell phones may give an approximate location, but the operator will have to ask for exact directions. BCEC has 13 employees, three operator stations, five 911 lines and 12 regular phone lines. The stations are manned 24 hours, seven days a week. They are investigating setting up a backup location in case the original location is destroyed by some disaster such as fire, flood or tornado.

Mike Gwynn won the 50/50 drawing.