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When to Call an Ambulance

If you have to consider calling EMS, you probably need it. When in doubt, call the ambulance! Dial 9-1-1.


A,B,C's (Airway, Breathing & Circulation)

  • Airway - Choking, any serious injuries to the face, mouth or throat.

  • Breathing - Difficulty breathing, shallow or no respirations, severe asthma attacks.

  • Circulation - Severe or uncontrollable bleeding, weak or absent pulse, chest pains, suspected heart attack or stroke.


Medical Emergencies

  • Shock - poor vital signs, fainting, loss of consciousness or disorientation. This may be the result of an illness or injury.

  • Poisoning - Ingested, inhaled, absorbed or injected poisons. Allergic reactions to food, medications and bee stings.

  • Head Injury - Any kind, including injuries to the neck or back.

  • Diabetic Emergencies - Known or suspected diabetics who appear to be disoriented.

  • Burns – Any that appear to be more serious than sunburn, that were caused by a chemical or that are accompanied by any respiratory distress.

  • Fractures - Any injury that results in a possible broken bone. These are usually accompanied by pain and swelling.

  • Injuries - Resulting from a fall, automobile accident or any other trauma where the patient is unable to move under their own power or has loss of feeling to an area of the body.


When Calling for Help...

  • Identify yourself. Be sure that the dispatcher knows exactly where the emergency is and the phone number you are calling from. If calling from an apartment or condo, be sure to include the unit number. Explain briefly, the nature of the emergency. Is the patient conscious? breathing? bleeding? What caused the injury? How many people are ill or injured? Is there danger of further injury (from fire, smoke, electricity, etc.).

  • Hang up last. The dispatcher may need more information from you and may be able to give you first aid instructions over the phone.


Until Help Arrives...

  • Remain calm. Someone should stay with the patient. Talk to and reassure them.

  • Unless absolutely necessary, do not attempt to move the patient.

  • Is your house number clearly visible from the street? If available, assign someone to meet the ambulance at the street. be sure that any outside lights are turned on.


To report an emergency: Dial 9-1-1



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