The emergency service professionals play a large role in providing immediate medical attention to people in all areas of the world. Another phrase for “Emergency Medical Services” is ‘EMS’ for short. The service is activated through the use of a phone call to a special telephone number, which is usually ‘911’.
The common rule of thumb for activating the emergency medical services is to do so anytime that you suspect that an emergency is apparent. You should not hesitate to contact EMS, even if the situation of the emergency is not clear and you are still unsure of all of the details. If you are not alone, send another person to call 911 while you perform emergency medical care.
When you call, an emergency operator will ask for basic information about the emergency and your address. You will then be asked about the emergency situation and what has taken place. Your answers will help the dispatcher determine the appropriate medical response teams that might need to be sent to the emergency location. Even if you are not sure about any specifics, you will have started the potential life saving chain of events for all who are involved.
In the case that you are the victim, and you are unable to speak on the phone, the EMS operator will automatically know your address and will be able to respond to your emergency. However, this situation is not the same when you call from a cell phone. They might be able to tell who owns the phone, but there will not be an address for the EMS team to report to.
At the same time as your call, a separate person, or emergency dispatcher will likely be alerting the appropriate resources to respond. Remain in contact with the emergency operator until EMS providers arrive or you are instructed to hand up. In many EMS systems, emergency operators are trained to help guide your care. If possible have another person call so you can provide emergency care such as CPR, First Aid or rescue breathing.
Another guideline when dealing with the activation of emergency medical services is if the victim is a child or infant who is unresponsive, then you should try some type of rescue breathing for at least two minutes before making the call. This situation would be the opposite, and ring true for the above information, if the victim were an adult. In that case, you would need to contact EMS immediately before attempting any type of care.
The reason for taking the two different approaches is due the fact that most child or infant emergencies involve chocking and require immediate live saving rescue breaths. An unresponsive adult emergency usually involves heart related issues. Emergencies such as this require time sensitive help from EMS responders with an AED and the appropriate drugs for resuscitation. Therefore you should call 911 immediately so as to have responders at the scene as soon as possible. Immediately after the call you would begin helping the victim.
Being prepared for an emergency can save the life of family members and friends. Be prepared by taking a CPR Training course. If you have already taken a class in the past, be sure to keep your skills updated by taking a refresher course.