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United Way campaigns for 211 awareness

emergency for the caller but are not urgent in the life-threatening sense. A caller may need urgent advice for dea- ling with a family or social problembut has no idea what service is available in their area. The 211 system set up in Ontario is designed to deal with those kinds of urgent but not-life-or-death needs. «It gives people an alternative to calling 911,» said Densmore. She also noted that fewer non-urgent emergency calls to 911means means savings both in time and energy for emergency ser- vices and also potential savings for local governments on their emergency services budgets. The money saved, Densmore in- dicated, can then go towards local social service programs and projects that might help to deal with those kind of non-urgent emergency issues. The CUWPR is asking all municipal go- vernments to help publicize and promote the 211 system, which is multilingual to handle the wide range of language groups in Onta- rio. Staff who receive calls from residents asking about what services are available for particular social or family situations can direct the caller to 211 for help in finding the appropriate agency. Municipalities can also encourage local social service, family aid, and other groups to register with the 211 service so their names, phone numbers and addresses are in the referral system’s databank. Municipalities can also list the 211 number on their web- sites and include it in their own municipal emergency plans.


Most people when they think of emergency calls think 911. But there is another number available that people can use to get help or informationwhen they have an emergency that is not a life-or-death situation. Centraide United Way Prescott-Russell (CUWPR) is campaigning for better public awareness of the 211 call system. CUWPR representatives are going around to muni- cipal councils in the Prescott-Russell region to enlist their help in both promoting the 211 system and also making sure it is available to their citizens. «It is a single point of access to all social services,» said Jodie Densmore, CUWPR exe- cutive director, «for any non-urgent service.» Densmore and TimHalderson, CUWPR 211 Ontario liaison for Prescott-Russell, are doing presentations on the service at local councils.The concept behind 211 is similar to that for the 911 emergency call system.The 911 service lets people report a fire, crime, accident, or other type of emergency and the message gets passed on right away to the correct agency to handle. A 911 operator can also make sure the

correct details of the situation, including location, injuries if any, and other necessary information is also forwarded to emergency personnel. A 911 operator can also help to

calm a caller in distress and, if necessary, remain on the line to keep the caller feeling connected and assured that help is on the way. A 911 system avoids the need for cal- lers to have to either look up or memorize the different numbers for police, fire, and ambulance in their area and whether or not they need to remember to dial long-distance for the call. But one problem for 911 is that often calls come in for situations that are an

Le Grand Tour Desjardins s’arrête en ville

Du 6 au 12 août 2016, près de 1800 cyclistes sillonneront les routes de la région dans le cadre du Grand Tour Desjardins. Ils par- courront des centaines de kilomètres à travers la région. Lors de leur périple à travers l’Ontario, l’Outaouais et les Laurentides, les cyclistes passeront, pour la première fois, deux nuits dans chacune des trois villes-étapes et pro- fiteront ainsi d’unmaximumde liberté pour ponctuer leur randonnée à leur guise. Le départ ainsi que l’arrivée se feront à Plantagenet aux contés de Prescott et Rus- sell. Le périple, d’une durée de sept jours,

traversera les communautés de Wendover, Clarence-Rockland, Ottawa, Gatineau, Chelsea, La Pêche, Cantley, Val-des-Monts, L’Ange-Gardien, Lochaber, Thurso, Plai- sance, Papineauville, Saint-André-Avellin, Ripon, Montpellier, Lac-Simon, Chénéville, Notre-Dame-de-la-Paix, Notre-Dame-de- Bonsecours, Montebello, Fassett, Calumet, Grenville-sur-la-Rouge, Harrington, Browns- burg-Chatham, Lachute, Gore, Mille-Isles, Bellefeuille (Saint-Jérôme), Saint-Colomban, Mirabel, Saint-André-d’Argenteuil, Gren- ville, Hawkesbury, L’Orignal (Champlain), Lefaivre et Alfred.

Snowmobile Safety Week The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) launched their Provincial Snowmobile Safety Week, taking place from January 16 to 24, with a message for snowmobilers to focus on their own personal safety and the well-being of others. With the campaign getting underway, the OPP and OFSC are reminding snowmobile enthusiasts to stay off the lakes and waterways for the time being as conditions are generally poor in many parts of the province. Last winter, the OPP investigated 15 snowmobile-related fatalities, a decrease from the previous two winters (21 in the 2013-14 season and 18 in the 2012-13 season). While the OPP and OFSC are relieved to see fewer lives lost, data clearly indicates that riding impaired, speeding and riding after dark continue to be major contributing factors in snowmobiling incidents. In addition, the OPP and OFSC are looking to middle-aged males to ride with extra care and control this winter as 87 per cent of last season’s snowmobile-related fatalities involved male riders and 58 per cent were riders or passengers between the ages of 35 and 54. – Francis Racine

Drunk driving charge A report of an accident in Champlain Township resulted in drunk driving charges against a Plan- tagenet man. Alain Lafontaine, 37, of Plantagenet is charged with impaired driving and driving with a blood-alcohol level exceeding 80 milligrams. The charges resulted from police investigation of a Dec. 20, 2015 incident, in the early evening in the Village of L’Orignal. A green Honda Accord, 2000 model, ended upside down in a ditch along Front Road West. The driver was not injured. His vehicle was impounded for seven days, his driver’s licence suspended on the spot for 90 days, and he was scheduled for a provincial court appearance in January. – Gregg Chamberlain


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