What to Say When Calling EMS

Calling 911 is a terrifying prospect. In moments of shock and panic, it can be difficult to remember what exactly you need to say to the dispatcher when you get them on the line. All you can think about is your emergency and the fact that it needs to get resolved as quickly as possible.

But before you give up hope, you can give yourself a clear mind by preparing what you need to say to the medical dispatcher. When someone answers the phone after you’ve called 911, you want to make sure you have any and all relevant information available. Below is a list of things you can say when getting in contact with EMS.

Be Consistent with Your Explanation
One of the first things a 911 dispatcher will ask is, “What is your emergency?” When it’s your turn to answer, try to describe the situation as clearly as possible. Give context to what happened. For example, you could say, “My uncle fell down the stairs and is now unconscious,” rather than saying, “He’s on the floor and not moving.”

Disclose Your Location
The emergency medical systems member will need to know exactly where you and the injured person are located. Be as descriptive as possible when giving away your location. If you are at home, start by listing your address. If you are in an outside location, use landmarks, and street signs to help you, such as: “We are on the second floor of the office building complex on 4th and Wallace Street”.

Describe What Is Happening Now
If your uncle fell down the stairs and fell unconscious five minutes ago, a lot might have happened between then and now. The dispatcher will likely ask you, “What is happening right now?” You can describe what your uncle is doing – is he still lying on the ground? And you can describe what you are doing too. Are you looking for additional assistance? Are you sitting on the ground holding your uncle’s head? Are you texting a neighbor?

Give Out Your Information and Wait for Help to Arrive
After you’ve given your location, phone number, and accurate descriptions regarding the emergency you’re in, the best thing you can do is wait for professional help to arrive. Alert Ambulance is a premier EMS transport system in the state of New Jersey as a part of Hackensack Meridian Health and can answer any and all emergency calls that are dispatched from 911.

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