COBB COUNTY, Ga. - During the Boston Marathon bombings, phone lines jammed but Cobb County's Safe America organization has a simple, potentially life-saving solution.
When the bombs went off at the finish line, Tifton's Michael Beeman was still running the race. He spoke to Channel 2 Action News via
"You knew there was a sense of tragedy because everyone was on their cellphones and the tears and stuff like that," Beeman said.
Beeman said he kept running because his 16-year-old
"Cellphone usage was nonexistent, so I tried to use people's
"They reach for the phone, try to call loved one, they can't get through. The phone lines are overwhelmed and they begin to panic. Is their loved one safe?" said Mary Lou Pagano of the Safe America Foundation.
Now Safe America is encouraging people to keep its campaign mission "Text First. Talk Second" in mind during emergencies.
"Text First. Talk Second. We want every American citizen to be able to reach their family in an emergency," Pagano said of the campaign launched in 2010.
Sending a short message like, 'R u ok?' and 'I'm ok' can save valuable cell space, Safe America officials told Channel 2's John Bachman.
"Leave those phone lines open for first responders and real emergency calls to go through," Pagano said.
Safe America says the
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