WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU CALL 9-1-1?

911 should only be used when a true emergency exists  and you need help from law enforcement, a fire department or emergency medical services.  Identify your call as a medical or fire emergency as this will make the processes run smoother and quickly. The dispatcher will electronically receive the address and telephone number of the caller. However, if you are calling for someone else at a different location, be sure to tell the dispatcher.

CRITICAL INFORMATION THE DISPATCHER NEEDS TO KNOW:
  1. Where is the emergency? Give the address, include building number, apartment number, nearest cross street. The name of the building is also helpful.
  2. What's the emergency? What's wrong?
  3. Who needs help? Age/ number of people.
  4. Are they conscious? Yes or no.
  5. Are they breathing? Yes or no.
The accuracy of all telephone numbers and addresses must be verified again by the dispatcher.
 
Note: Wait for the dispatcher to hang up before you do.

Remain calm and give direct answers to the questions asked. Speak slowly and clearly. You will be asked additional questions so the dispatcher can send the right type of help. All questions are important.
 
 The dispatcher may also provide you with CRITICAL PRE-ARRIVAL INSTRUCTIONS, such as CPR (Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation) or the Heimlich maneuver.
 
Understanding what happens when a 911 call is placed will help the system run more efficiently and will bring you the emergency medical service you need in the shortest possible time.

HOW YOU CAN HELP BEFORE THE EMERGENCY RESPONDERS ARRIVE:
  • Assure the patient that help is on the way.
  • Keep the phone line clear after the 911 call is made.
  • Direct someone to wait out front to meet the ambulance and/or other emergency response vehicles and lead the way.
  • Wave a flashlight or turn on flashers of a car or porch light if it's dark or visibility is poor.
  • Consider having an interpreter if the patient does not speak English.
  • Secure pets, especially dogs, in a separate area.
  • Have a visible address, easily readable from the street.
  • Gather or make a list of medications that the patient is using and give to emergency personnel.