Thursday, November 19, 2009

Calling for Help - Using 911 Efectively

When an emergency or crisis occurs the first response of a majority of people is “Call 911” because in many instances the scope or nature of the emergency may be beyond your skills or abilities to handle on your own without assistance. But are you prepared with the necessary information to make your call effective? Or will you waste valuable time trying to assemble the needed information at the worst possible time? You should be prepared to offer certain basic information that will allow those responding to your call for help or assistance to do so in the most effective manner possible.

There are several factors you should be aware of when making a 911 call for help:

1. Be prepared to offer relevant information in regards to what the actual nature of the emergency (fire, burglary, traffic accident, etc.) and what actions that you may have already taken or are in the process of being made to assist with the problem. Many of the questions you may be asked by an emergency operator will allow them to better respond to your emergency with the necessary and proper personnel (EMS, fire, police, etc.).

2. Be prepared to offer relevant information regarding any hazards that may be present that will hinder the efforts of emergency personnel. Things such as downed power lines or heavy traffic may require other additional emergency services personnel besides an EMS unit or ambulance. These are questions that trained emergency operators will be asking and you should be prepared to make the proper response.

3. Be prepared to offer relevant information about who is involved in the emergency. The response to an accident involving a bus load of people will obviously be quite different from a single vehicle crash.

4. Be prepared to offer information about where you are so that emergency personnel can reach you quickly and in the least amount of time necessary. Make sure you are able to give a complete set of directions to your location that emergency personnel will be able to follow with the least amount of problems. They can’t help you if they can’t find you!

5. Be prepared to use any additional means to assist emergency personnel that may be available to you. Turn on porch lights or vehicle emergency flashers or if someone else is present use them to guide emergency personnel to your location. Check to see if there are any persons trained in emergency care present and seek their assistance as well. Make sure you give the emergency operator the address of your location. This is a vital piece of information that will be needed.

6. You may be the only link between an emergency and emergency services. Be prepared to stay on the line and in direct communication with the emergency operator until emergency personnel have arrived at your location and are able to take control of the situation.

7. Remain calm and speak clearly and distinctly to the emergency operator about the nature of the emergency. Screaming at the phone won't get help there any faster and may even hinder emergency efforts.

8. Be prepared to follow any directions the emergency operator may give you. Most have the necessary training that will help you until the proper emergency personnel arrive on the scene.

9. Make sure to give the emergency operator your name and phone number. If you become disconnected prematurely, they will be able to re-contact you quicker and faster if necessary.

To properly take advantage of the full benefits of emergency services you will need to be prepared to do your part as well. Use a little common sense! Put yourself in the place of the emergency operator and think about the information you would need in order to properly respond to the emergency.

Staying above the water line!



Did it MY way said...

Very good info. Also elderly people should have a current list of all meds that they take.

Ken said...

...very good post RW...if folks are capable(even basic first-aid,could help)stabilize the trauma victims,then call...
...i've heard of people bleeding out from arterial bleeding,in front of SIX others(TWO of which,were on 911 calls about this incident)who didn't know how to put on a band-aid...they watched as this couples life leaked from them...

riverwalker said...

To: Did it My Way

Excellent idea to be prepared with information on current meds, especially where family members are involved. You can also check for medical ID bracelets that let be know about things such as diabetes or specific drug or food allergies. Every bit of info will be important.



riverwalker said...

To: Ken

Sometimes even the simplest form of first aid can be the difference between life and death in an emergency.



Chief Instructor said...

An absolutely excellent post!

In one of my classes we teach people about calling 911 if they have an intruder in their home. We have them script out the basic information (location in the home, etc) but also what to yell to the intruder to have it captured on the 911 tapes ("I have a gun and will use it to defend myself if you come in this room"). Never hang up the phone until the police arrive.

riverwalker said...

To: Chief Instructor

Glad you approve and liked this post. I believe it is important to make sure you also have your bases covered when it comes to surviving the everyday happenings in your life as well.

As to your scenario as to what to say in regards to an intruder in the home...excellent!

One question. Do you think the sound of a 12 gauge being racked is also a pretty good deterrent...CLICK, CLACK!


Chief Instructor said...

LOL! I know it would get MY attention! For some meth-head, though, it might be the SECOND to last thing they hear...

riverwalker said...

To: Chief Instructor

You're right of course. That sound is going to get the attention of most intruders unless they're hearing impaired. LOL


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