When it comes to folks who appreciate the importance of our national 9-1-1 call service, emergency care instructors rank high on the list. In honor of April’s 9-1-1 Education Month, let’s look at some best practices we can share with our students and communities for those occasions when they need to activate Emergency Medical Services.
Call If You Can, Text If You Can't: Text-to-9-1-1 service is available in an increasing number of communities around the country. The service benefits individuals (or persons) who are deaf, hard of hearing or in a situation where they cannot speak and make a voice call. However, a traditional voice call, if possible, is still the best way to reach emergency services.
Know Your Location: Wireless calls to 9-1-1 provide location information, but 9-1-1 call takers may need more specific information. Be prepared to provide detailed information on where you are so that help can get to you as quickly as possible.
Stay Calm and Don't Hang Up: Until you are instructed to do otherwise, stay on the line so you can provide any necessary information or assistance to the 9-1-1 call taker. Even if you accidentally call 9-1-1, don't hang up. Inform the call taker that you dialed accidentally and that there is no emergency.
As our ASHI and MEDIC First Aid programs explain, activating the EMS system with a 9-1-1 call is appropriate when there are immediate threats to life, a significant mechanism of injury has occurred, warning signs of serious illness exist, or if you are unsure about the severity of a person’s condition.
When you make a phone call to activate EMS, a trained dispatcher will guide you through the call. EMS dispatchers may be trained to guide you in the care you provide, especially with CPR.
The dispatcher will ask for basic information, such as the type of emergency, location, and what care is being provided. Answer questions as clearly and concisely as you can. Appropriate resources will be notified to respond while you are on the line.
To all the 9-1-1 telecommunicators and dispatchers across the country, thank you for everything you do to make our workplaces and communities safer.
Trained bystanders save lives! If you want to know how you can help an ill or injured person before the arrival of EMS, sign up today for a CPR, AED, and first aid class from one of our ASHI or MEDIC First Aid Training Centers. Find a class near you with our TC Directory by clicking the button below.