Many times, our EMS staff arrives at an emergency to find members of the public unaware of what to do, or uncertain as to specific action principals they should follow. This information is to assist a bystander with certain actions they should follow and become informed of EMS personnel procedures before and after you call 911.
WHEN YOU FIND YOURSELF FACING AN EMERGENCY:
1) DO NOT PANIC. Do remain calm. If you panic, you can make a bad situation worse! Remember, you cannot change what has happened but you can help with care and possibly change the outcome of the incident.
2) ENSURE YOU OWN SAFETY. This is very important! Whatever the situation, you cannot be of help if you become a part of the emergency incident itself. Evaluate what has happened and if it is safe to do so, only then should you provide care.
3) PROVIDE ASSISTANCE. This may include giving first aid and/or calling 911. Seek assistance of others nearby, work as a team. This is important if you need to do many things rapidly. You maybe surprised on how others will help when asked. Most persons just need direction on what to do to help.
4) FIRST AID. Many first aid actions are common sense. Evaluate the injured or ill person(s) having the medical emergency. Take a pulse, check breathing, control bleeding, etc. Do not move anyone ill or injured unless it is to ensure their safety! Make mental notes of the situation events prior to the emergency.
5) CALL 911. Provide as much detail as possible of the emergency, such as problem and current condition of the person(s). If multiple persons are injured, give numbers of those injured. DETAILS ARE IMPORTANT!
AFTER YOU CALL 911 – EMERGENCY RESPONDERS ARE RESPONDING TO YOUR LOCATION AS RAPIDLY AND SAFELY AS POSSIBLE! AS YOU WAIT FOR EMERGENCY RESPONDERS TO ARRIVE, FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS PROVIDED BY 911 DISPATCHERS AND CONTINUE TO PROVIDE CARE. IF POSSIBLE, HAVE SOMEONE OUTSIDE TO WAIT FOR EMS.
WHEN EMS ARRIVES
1) ASSIST EMS. Depending on the emergency, responding EMS staff may need to provide care rapidly. In any situation, provide as much information as you know about what has happened, what has occurred since you called 911 and what care you have provided.
2) THE PATIENT. Upon arrival, EMS providers will focus on the care of the ill or injured. The patient will be asked questions on their injury, illness or medical problem in detail if able to do so. Emergency Medical Care is provided in a detailed and specific manner consistent with medical protocol. Family members will be asked to provide information on the patient such as medications, etc.
3) TRANSPORT. The patient will be taken to the hospital of their choice, unless determined medically necessary by EMS providers or directed by an Emergency room physician to divert to another hospital emergency department for specialized care, such as major traumas, etc. One family member is permitted to ride as a front passenger in the ambulance. Other members of a family going to a hospital ARE NOT to follow the ambulance closely or disregard traffic signals or stop signs. Safety is everyones concern and the EMS staff will radio for police assistance to stop any such activity of vehicles violating traffic laws.