It seems simple - dial Triple Zero (000), give your current location and wait for the ambulance. If only!
There will be a point in our lives where we'll get to witness an accident or illness and may be required to ask the help of emergency medical services (EMS). Calling an ambulance can sometimes be a difficult experience, especially if the situation is stressful and someone you know is involved.
There are sorts of life-threatening emergencies where you should always call Triple Zero for:
- The person appears not to be breathing, is having chest pain, or is struggling for breath.
- The person had a severe injury that is bleeding profusely.
- The person became unconscious and experiencing weakness, numbness, or difficulty speaking.
- The person had a severe allergic reaction which requires adrenaline autoinjector.
- The person is burnt, and the burn severity reaches second to the third degree.
- The person has fallen from a height or had a major trauma from a road accident where there is a possibility of a head or spinal injury.
When calling an ambulance, try to speak clearly and answer the questions as best as you can. The operator will go through a list of questions to find out information about the emergency. What is the exact location? What exactly happened? How many people are hurt? Is the person conscious? Is the person breathing?
When answering these questions, answer in as much detail as possible. These questions will help the operator assess the severity of the call, prioritise the request for an ambulance and send the right level of help. An ambulance will then be dispatched once the location and type of emergency are confirmed. While the EMS are en route, the operator will likely to ask further questions.
Emergency Responses Operators are trained to give simple first aid instructions over the phone. They instruct bystanders in providing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and other basic first aid procedures while waiting for the EMS to arrive.
Recently, Ambulance Victoria revealed that each week, the Triple Zero (000) services receive hundreds of calls for non-medical emergencies. This stretched the capacity of our emergency services and inappropriate calls will inevitably delay lifesaving help from police, fire services or paramedics.
There is no doubt that in an emergency you should dial Triple Zero for help. Our emergency services are there, ready to help when we are at our most vulnerable. But if more people know the difference between an emergency and what isn’t, we can improve the availability of these services to those who need it most.
Knowing when to dial for help is crucial.
Attending a First Aid Course will help you better identify the signs and symptoms of a true emergency. It will equip you with the skills to prioritise and recognise the most appropriate level of care needed. It will save you unnecessary visits to the hospital and ambulance call-outs. A quality First Aid Training will equip you the skills and confidence to treat common emergencies at home.
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