9-1-1: now what
What to expect after you call
When to call
Emergencies come in all sizes and
shapes, from car crashes to baking
And when they do, calling 9-1-1can be your best course of action,especially when someone’s injured orseriously ill.
“We’ve made it very clear that ifyou think you need an ambulance,call 9-1-1,” says Jim Garland, theexecutive director of EMS Dispatch,Communications and Deployment.
He says 9-1-1 operators can quicklyhelp callers determine if a situation isan emergency. Better to be safe thansorry.
He also encourages children to call
9-1-1 if they think someone in theirhome needs an ambulance; many liveshave been saved by children dialing
And if you call 9-1-1 by mistake,Garland asks that you stay on theline and explain the misdial, as policefollow up on all hang-ups.
You’ve just called 9-1-1. Sowhat’s the next step?
Understanding how 9-1-1 operatorsrespond to calls can help you stay calmin an emergency.
When your call connects, anoperator will first ask “What’s youremergency?” After giving youranswer, you’ll be asked for your phonenumber—in case the call is dropped—and for your address. Your call willthen be directed to police, fire or EMS(or a combination of the three) andyou’ll be asked again for the addresswhere help is needed.
For medical emergencies,ambulances are dispatched within
90 seconds based on location, saysJim Garland, the executive directorof EMS Dispatch, Communicationsand Deployment at Alberta HealthServices.
Meanwhile, you will be asked a few
more standard questions specific to
your emergency. One will be, “OK, tell
me exactly what happened.”
The operator may walk you through
steps to help those in need, and put
you at ease. Depending where you
are, you may be asked to stay with
the person who needs help, move to a
safe place, turn on your outside lights,
keep pets away from the door, and call
back if anything changes before the
ambulance arrives. If a child has called
9-1-1, operators will often stay on the
phone until help has arrived.
— Zoey Duncan
After calling 9-1-1, you’ll be asked: “What’s your emergency?” and then for your phone
number and address.