Using 911

NHRMC EMS is available to help in emergencies by dialing 911. Most people know to call 911 if they are sick or injured, but not many people really know how it works.

What Happens When You Call 911

The 911 system was created as an easy way to remember who to call during an emergency. It is a nationwide system that connects you directly to trained professionals who will help direct aid to you quickly. When you call, be prepared to answer some important questions. This will help them determine if you need the fire department, police or medical assistance. 

When to Call 911

You should call 911 in any emergency. That means any situation that requires immediate assistance from the police, fire department or ambulance including:

  • Fire
  • Crime or threat to safety, especially if in progress
  • Car crash, especially if someone is injured
  • Medical emergency such as:
    • Unconscious person
    • Person having trouble or not breathing
    • Person having an allergic reaction
    • Person having chest pain
    • Someone bleeding uncontrollably

If you aren't sure whether you are having a true emergency, call 911 and let them determine whether you need emergency help.

Why There Are So Many Questions

Although it can seem frustrating, when you call 911 you will be asked a number of questions. This is done so that you can get the right help quickly. Please be assured, when you call 911 a dispatcher is sending an ambulance to you while you are answering questions. These questions can also help our responders give you any instructions on what you can do to help while waiting for the paramedics to arrive - for example, helping to stop bleeding; performing CPR; or even helping to keep the person calm.

How You can Help the Dispatcher

The most important things you can do to help the person on the other line is to remain calm, speak clearly and to answer all questions as completely as possible.

  • Provide your location including address (try to include as many details as possible: cross streets, landmarks, etc.)
  • Describe the type of emergency
  • Provide as much information about the person needing help (age, gender, any medical conditions)
  • Give your name and phone number
  • Stay on the phone until help arrives at the scene

When Not to Call 911

Do not call 911:

  • For information
  • For weather updates
  • For directory assistance
  • When you’re bored and just want to talk
  • For your pet
  • As a prank

If you accidentally call 911, do not hang up. Explain to the person on the other line that you called accidentally so they know you are not having an true emergency.

Hearing Impaired Callers

Deaf and hearing impaired callers usually use TYY/TDD to communicate using the telephone. Communication centers that answer 911 have special phones to respond to calls from deaf or hearing impaired callers. Callers should follow the same guidelines:

  • Stay calm
  • Provide location, type of emergency
  • Give as much detailed information as possible