9-1-1 is to be used ONLY in emergency situations. An emergency is any situation that requires immediate assistance from police, fire or EMS.
If you are ever in doubt of whether a situation is an emergency you should call 9-1-1. It's better to be safe and let the 9-1-1 call taker determine if you need emergency assistance.
Call 911 immediately for any life-threatening medical problem. These include chest pain, difficulty breathing, numbness, sudden intense pain, severe burns and other medical problems.
Any fire — even a tiny grease fire in your kitchen — merits a 911 call. A fire can grow and spread rapidly, so call right away even if you think you can put out the flames on your own.
If you see an assault, a burglary or even a suspicious person lurking, call 911. If you call, an officer might catch the criminal in the act and foil the crime.
Call 911, especially if someone is hurt or feels dizzy or unwell. For a fender bender where you're 100 percent sure everyone is OK, you can call the police directly.
1. Give your location – It is important for callers to provide the exact location of the emergency—especially when calling from a wireless phone. There are many instances when the 9-1-1 call center does not receive cellular location information. By providing the exact location, it will ensure that the emergency response is dispatched to the exact location of the emergency.
2 . Always stay on the line.
When callers hang up, it could mean that something has gone wrong, so 911 call takers will attempt to call back. A hang-up can delay emergency assistance and tie up 911 lines longer than necessary.
3. When calling 9-1-1, always answer the questions.
It is not unusual for callers in crisis to become frustrated or fail to see why operators' questions are important. By asking questions, an operator is able to discern important information that will result in the correct emergency response personnel being dispatched.
If the emergency operator gives you specific instructions, remember them and carry them out. If someone else is with you, send him or her to meet the ambulance.
Keep the patient calm, as well. Additionally, keep the patient as warm and comfortable as possible.
Don't move a person who has been in an accident, has fallen or is unconscious, unless they are in immediate danger.
If you know first aid, you may perform it. A dispatcher may be able to walk you through certain procedures.
Clear a route to the patient; move cars, furniture, plants, etc. Send someone to the street to flag down the ambulance.
Gather or write down all the patient's medications and allergy information to give to first responders.
Arrange for children to stay with a friend or neighbor. Consider packing a small bag for yourself and the patient.