JOHNSON CITY TEXAS VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT

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911 CALLING TIPS

Why do police officers & others respond to 911 medical calls?

The police officers are often on patrol in their vehicles when the 911 calls come in, and other fire and EMS first reponder personnel who are out and about (on and off duty) are trained to handle at least basic life support situations. On most occasions, they are closer to an incident.  This allows for a very quick response time, which is usually faster than the ambulance will arrive.

When should you call 911?

Dial 911 in the event of an emergency ONLY! When someone is badly hurt or suddenly sick and in danger, call immediately. Call when someoneís life is threatened, when someone faints or collapses, has persistent chest pain or difficulty breathing or is badly injured. Call if the victim needs the skills or equipment of emergency personnel. Call if moving the victim by yourself could cause further injury. If unsure, CALL 911.

Donít dial 911 for Non-emergencies!

Getting a minor scraped knee bandaged or filling a prescription or needing a ride to a doctorís appointment are not reasonís to call 911. Emergency personnel are not required in these types of situations. Calling them could delay them in responding to a real emergency situation elsewhere.

Know what to say when calling 911!

Stay as calm as possible, speak clearly, and stay on the phone until the emergency operator tells you to hang up the phone. Tell the dispatcher where to find the person needing emergency care, who is hurt or sick and what happened. The dispatcher will need to know the victimís condition and if there is anything you can do to assist them. Be prepared to answer the following questions: "Is the patient awake?" and "Is the patient breathing normally?"

Know what to do until help arrives!

If the dispatcher gives you specific instructions, follow them and do not panic. Do NOT move someone who is injured unless they are in danger. Try to keep them as comfortable as possible. If someone else is with you, send him or her to meet the Fire/EMS department personnel.

Written By:  George Cofran, BS, MBA, Paramedic

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