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Dealing with Emergencies and Calling 911

calling 911Durham Region Emergency Medical Services responds to dozens of 911 calls each week.  They help to provide our community with the best possible emergency care and save lives on a regular basis.  In addition, they provide some helpful information online to help our citizens prepare for an unexpected situation.  The good news is that help is only a phone call away.

How do you decide if someone needs emergency assistance?

Any time you or someone you are with is in a potentially life-threatening situation, calling 911 is the best way to receive immediate care.  These types of situations include when the patient has severe or prolonged chest pains, unconsciousness or difficulty breathing, severe bleeding, or a variety of other serious symptoms.  Walk-in clinics are generally recommended for non-emergency situations, but if time is of the essence, then our local paramedics are your best resource for quick attention.

How should you handle the emergency?

The number one rule is to remain calm.  Keeping your cool will help you communicate with the operator and rely all the necessary information to dispatch help as quickly as possible.  Do not move the patient unless they are in danger in their present location.  Make sure someone stays with the patient until help arrives.  If you are calling from an apartment, it’s a good idea to have someone waiting in the lobby so the paramedics can access the unit right away.

What kind of information do I need to provide?

The call takers are trained to ask the right questions so the emergency help can respond as efficiently as possible.  Be sure to have the address or location on hand.  You will most likely need to provide your name, the type of emergency, and details about the patient’s condition.  Speak slowly and clearly.  Again, keep calm and concentrate on answering the operator’s questions in detail.  Depending on where you live and the time of day, help should arrive within a few minutes.  Finding yourself in an emergency situation can be incredibly stressful, but making the call could save someone’s life.

It’s always a good idea to have a list of emergency numbers posted in your home and saved on your phone.  If you have a medical condition that paramedics need to be aware of, keep this information nearby at all times.  No one wants to find themselves in an emergency situation, but the Durham Region EMS and our other first responders work hard every day to keep our communities healthy and safe.

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