How to Know when to Call 9 1 1

The fastest way to get emergency help is by dialing 9-1-1 on your phone. An emergency operator--called a dispatcher--will answer your call. The dispatcher must know exactly where you are, and exactly what is wrong. Operators are connected to police, firefighters, and ambulance crews. Depending on what you say, they will send one or more types of emergency workers.


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    Call 9-1-1 only if a person is badly hurt or in danger at the moment. Reasons for calling include:
    • Witnessing a car accident
    • A crime in progress
    • Someone hurting someone else
    • When someone suddenly seems very ill, is having a hard time breathing, or turns blue
    • If someone collapses or passes out
    • If there is a fire
    • If someone is having a severe allergic reaction
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    If you do, call 9-1-1.
    • Stay calm. Take a few deep breaths if you need to.
    • Speak clearly. The dispatcher needs to understand you to help.
    • Be prepared to answer questions from the dispatcher: What is the emergency? What happened? Where are you? Where do you live? Who needs help? Who is with you? Are you safe where you are?
    • Follow the dispatcher's directions. Don't hang up until the dispatcher has told you that it is OK.
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    Do Not Call 9-1-1 if:
    • When you are still in immediate danger. If you can, get to safety before you make a call.
    • If your pet is in trouble. Call a veterinary emergency service.
    • On a dare.
    • If you have a minor injury.
    • Never, ever call 9-1-1 as a joke or just to see what might happen. When the dispatcher has to take the time to talk to people who don't have a real emergency, other people who call and do need help right away might have to wait.

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Categories: Disaster Preparedness