So you or a loved one have had a medical emergency. 9-1-1 has been called and you are waiting for us to arrive. Now what?
While it is not always practical or possible during every medical emergency, there’s actually some things that you can do to help us out before we arrive!
- Try to stay calm. We know it can be scary. Staying calm can help with communicating with both the dispatch call taker and us.
- Answer all of dispatch’s questions as honestly and completely as you can.
- If it’s dark out, turn on your outside lights! If you don’t have outdoor lights or you have a long, winding driveway, you can even go out and meet us at the end of your driveway to wave us in – particularly if your house is hard to find. We’ll drop a safety cone for the ambulance before we head in to the patient.
- Unlock the front door for us, this is especially important if you need to stay with the patient in another part of the house.
- Secure your pets. Whether in the backyard or a another room, keep your pets somewhere out of the area we’re working in. Medical emergencies are stressful for everyone, including pets! In their anxiety, they can get in the way or, even with the sweetest pets, get aggressive or otherwise get in the way of our work. Keeping pets secure is the safest choice for our patient, us, and the pets themselves.
- Gather the patient’s medications. Either a detailed list or in the original bottles. We need to know exactly what the medication is, the dosage, and how often they are supposed to take it. We also need to know if they are taking it on schedule and when the last time they took the medication was.
- Move your cars from the driveway so that the ambulance can pull in. This can make it easier to get the patient to and into the ambulance, especially if you have an uneven or bumpy driveway.