How Do Ambulances Respond To Emergencies

Call an Ambulance

If you or someone you know is involved in an accident or having a medical emergency, you will need to call for an ambulance. In the United States and Canada, the number to use is 9-1-1. Other countries have different codes. This number should only be used in actual emergency situations. Calling this number will put you in touch with a professional team that will respond to your call and send out whatever personnel are best to handle your situation. In order for them to do their job, it is important to not hang up until the operator says it is OK to do so, unless you are in a life-threatening situation. The operator will need to collect enough information to help the ambulance personnel be as prepared as possible upon arrival.

Your Call Is Received at 911, 999 or Other Emergency Call Center

When you call your country’s emergency number you are connected to a network that will respond to your emergency. Your call will be answered by a dispatcher who will determine your location, the nature of your emergency and whether an ambulance should be sent. If an ambulance is needed, the dispatcher will contact your local authorities and request that an ambulance be dispatched to the scene. Help is often dispatched while you are on the phone and when the dispatcher is still collecting information.

A Professionally Staffed and Stacked Ambulance Is Sent

One or several professionals such as an EMT (emergency medical technician) or paramedic who has been specially trained to deal with emergencies will arrive in the ambulance. The ambulance is stocked with supplies to manage many types of situations. They often have oxygen, first aid supplies, defibrillators, cardiac monitors, IV equipment, medications for pain, allergy and respiratory conditions, and communication devices to allow them to call a hospital or doctor for additional instructions if needed. If you or another victim is in a life-threatening situation, they can administer care while you are being transported. This is why it is best to never drive yourself or another victim to the hospital. The ambulance has all of the necessary equipment to support you until you can get full medical care.

You Will Be Examined and Treated

When the ambulance arrives you and any other victims will be evaluated and provided with the appropriate care. The emergency personnel will ask you questions about what happened and obtain information on your past medical history as well as current symptoms. They will take your vital signs (heart rate, blood pressure, rate of respiration and general appearance) and make that information available to the physician who will be treating you. You will be offered transport in the ambulance to the hospital. If a victim is a minor and no parent or guardian is there, is unconscious, or is deemed unable to make appropriate decisions, he or she will automatically be taken to the hospital. If you are conscious and able to communicate your needs, you can accept or decline the transport to the hospital. It is your decision as to how much care you receive. You can refuse to be treated at the scene. You can choose to be treated and examined at the scene but then decline any further care. If the ambulance does transport you, you will be taken to the emergency room and released into the care of the hospital staff.


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