When and How to use 911
Answer the dispatcher’s questions regardless of how unimportant they seem.
- Where? Location of the emergency (not your location)
- What? Describe what happened (calmly)
- How? How the incident happened (mechanism of injury)
- Who? Is the person a family member (medical history might be more familiar)
- When? Recent vs. Non-recent (6 hours or more)
Life-saving instructions may be given, while waiting for emergency responders. Do not hang up until the operator instructs you to. Understand that during a crisis time seems to creep by very slowly, what is just a few minutes could seem like 15 minutes.
911 should only be used for fire, medical or police emergencies. The dispatchers should not be used for non-emergency information gathering.