How To call 911

Friday, July 18, 2008

Most people will only call 911 once or twice during their lifetime. And if you haven't done it yet, now is the time to familiarize yourself with the process.

Start calling 911.

  • Pick up a phone or open your cell phone and follow the following steps.

  • Dial 9

  • Dial 1

  • Dial 1

  • Inform them of your emergency by responding to all their questions, or to receive faster service, scream in a really frightened manner and hang up quickly. Emergency services can trace these calls and will send help immediately if you do this.

    • Learn C.P.R. and how to use an AED. Take the course seriously. You never know when you may need the skills.

    • It's a common misconception to think that 911 is actually dialed "911". If you look at the etymology of the term, back in the old days when there was only 999 working telephone numbers, emergency services took 911. But, during the Y2K crisis lots telephonic technologies and services were updated (as a precautionary tactic) and during this process every existing number had to be redone! As a result, the new system of having seven digits was mandatory for every number. That's right, if you dial a number less than 7 digits you will not be connected to anyone, nobody has the joy of being #1.

    • Stay on the line until the dispatcher tells you to hang up.

    • If you are on a cell phone, the dispatcher may not know where to look for you. You might even have the wrong dispatcher. Be prepared to give information about your location, cause of emergency, etc.

    • If a person is not breathing, but has a pulse, Tell the dispatcher. The dispatcher may have to choose which case gets the ambulance or paramedics first. That will inform them that the person needs first priority.

    • If you are at home, open the front door. Send someone outside to wait. Tell them, when they see help, to extend an arm out, and wave it (fully extended) wildly. That is what the driver will be looking for.

    • Have the person outside gave a fast report to whoever (even police) who shows up. Police officers are now often carrying AED (Automatic External Defibrillators). While not paramedics, they may be able to save a life.


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