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A 911 REFRESHER
With the COVID-19 pandemic underway, here is a refresher on when to call 911 for help and what to expect when help arrives.
If you’re wondering if you should call 911, consider these questions:
Is a person hurt or in danger? Do you need the police, fire or ambulance?
If the answer is yes, call immediately. The 911 dispatcher will ask questions in order to send the appropriate vehicles and services to the emergency.
Call 911 – When to call
- To get help for someone who is hurt. For example:
- If someone falls and is seriously injured.
- If you see someone hurt in an accident.
- If someone is having a heart attack, seizure, or struggling to breathe.
- If you smell smoke or see a fire.
- If a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm is alerting long and loud, not short “chirps.” Reminder: Carbon monoxide gas is colorless, odorless and deadly.
- To report an illegal fire, such as burning garbage.
- If you see people fighting and hurting each other, or someone being robbed or beaten.
- If you see a crime in-progress, such as someone acting suspiciously, stealing, or breaking into a home or building.
- To get help for someone who has fallen and can’t get up, or someone stuck or trapped.
- If you believe emergency assistance may be needed but are not sure, call 911 and describe the situation.
- If you call 911 by accident, don’t hang up. Explain what happened to the 911 operator.
Call 911 – During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Share all your symptoms with dispatch and first responders.
- We ask that you call 911 instead of stopping in at SVFD Fire Stations for help. Our fire stations are closed to the public to keep firefighters and citizens safe and healthy.
- If someone with COVID-19 symptoms (whether tested or not) is in need of emergency medical services for serious breathing problems or other emergency medical issue, do call 911 for help. Emergency services are for emergency care and crews are prepared for almost all situations.
- Do not call 911 to report a potential case of COVID-19. Call a medical provider to discuss care and testing.
Call 911 – What to expect
- Regardless of the pandemic, emergency medical services remain available 24/7!
- The dispatch operator will ask you questions. Try to remain calm and speak clearly. Read tips about talking to the dispatch center.
- SVFD and ambulance crews, including all EMTs and paramedics, have adjusted their responses to minimize exposure and transmission of Coronavirus (COVID-19). When called to any medical emergency, you may see first responders wearing the recommended personal protective equipment (i.e., respiratory protection, goggles, gloves, gown).
- Our crews are specially trained and experienced in working through challenging, dynamic situations to help people in urgent need. First responders will approach the scene quickly and cautiously.
If you ever need to call 911, we want you to be prepared and ready to help someone in need (or even yourself). Stay safe and healthy!
- Julie Happy