Tips for Using 9-1-1
What to say when you call 9-1-1
- Stay calm and speak clearly
- Listen carefully to the Dispatchers questions and answers.
- Verbally answer all questions. Remember the Dispatcher cannot see your hand or head gestures, signs or motions.
- State your emergency.
- State your address - IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO VERIFY THE ADDRESS
- STAY ON THE LINE
- Do not hang up until the Dispatcher tells you it is OK to do so. They may need to ask additional questions regarding the emergency or an EMS dispatcher may give your instructions to help stabilize the patient before the ambulance gets to your location.
- Follow the instructions of the Dispatcher and remain calm.
- If you can, stay by the phone in case the 9-1-1 call-taker needs to call you back.
What to do if you are unable to Speak
- Stay calm.
- Dial 9-1-1
- Either leave the phone off the hook or make some sort of noise to let the dispatcher know there is an emergency.
- With enhanced 9-1-1 providing your address for calls from a landline phone, the call-taker can dispatch police assistance to your location.
Information to be prepared to give if you are reporting a crime in progress.
- Brief description of what occurred.
- Where exactly the incident occurred. Include building, room, or area.
- How long ago did the incident occur?
- Did the suspect(s) have any weapons?
- Which direction was the suspect headed?
- Was the suspect on foot or in a vehicle?
- What did the suspect(s) look like? Be able to describe each suspect one at a time giving the following;
The 911 emergency system is designed to assist citizens with POLICE, MEDICAL or FIRE emergencies. It should be noted that non-emergency calls to the 911 system can create delays in handling other very serious emergencies that require immediate attention. The following are guidelines for the proper use of the 911 system for FIRE and MEDICAL emergencies in Chickasha and Grady County.
Do not call 911 for non-emergency transportation. Use taxi cabs or call a private individual
Examples of NON-EMERGENCY situations are:
- Minor illness or injury not requiring immediate help: Flu/common cold
- Chronic (ongoing) aches and pain
- Minor cuts
- Broken fingers or toes
- Emotional upsets
- Routine transportation to medical offices, clinics, and hospitals
Remember, these are general guidelines - if there is any doubt, do not hesitate to call the paramedics.
Call 911 for a LIFE-THREATENING EMERGENCY such as:
- Breathing difficulty/shortness of breath/ breathing has stopped
- Choking (can't talk or breathe)
- Constant chest pain - in adults (lasting longer than two minutes)
- Uncontrollable bleeding / large blood loss
- Drug overdose /poisoning
- Gunshot wounds, stabbings
- Vomiting blood
- Sudden fainting /unconsciousness
- Convulsions/seizures (uncontrolled jerking, movements the patient may fall to the floor)
- Severe allergic reaction (difficulty breathing / unresponsive)
- Major burns (white or charred skin: blisters and redness over a large area)
- Someone who will not wake up, even when you shake them
- Severe injuries from Traffic accidents
- Head Injury
- Significant falls
- Physical entrapment (i.e. car accident with a victim trapped in the vehicle)
What Happens When You Request Emergency Medical Services
911 should only be used when a true emergency exists, "police", "fire", or "medical". Identify your call as a medical or fire emergency and it will be automatically transferred for you. 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 make that known to the dispatcher.
The dispatcher will ask the caller questions to gain critical information needed for medical, police, and fire incidents.
Some examples of these questions are:
- What's the emergency? What's wrong?
- Where is the emergency? Give the address, include building number, apartment number, nearest cross street. The name of the building is also helpful.
- Who needs help? Age/ number of people.
- Are they conscious? Yes or no.
- Are they breathing? Yes or no.
- Is the intruder still in the building? Yes or No
- What is the description of the perpetrator Height, Weight, Clothing, Age, etc?
- What are the tag number and description of the vehicle?
- What's on fire? Is it a building, grassfire, vehicle fire?
- Is there anyone in the burning building? Yes (How many?) or No
- How many vehicles are involved in the accident?
The accuracy of all telephone numbers and addresses must be verified again by the dispatcher.
Note: Wait for the 911 operator 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 Police or Fire Department And Life EMS 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 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.
- Start first aid:
- Apply direct pressure to the wound if the victim is bleeding.
- Perform the Heimlich maneuver if a choking victim can't breathe or talk. Begin CPR if the victim has no pulse and has stopped breathing.