During this week in May, we honor the men and women who devote their lives to saving and treating others. Their job is not easy and they are usually the first on the scene and have to make quick decisions in matters of life and death. In 2010, the Albuquerque Fire Department responded to 115,039 emergency calls and 86,154 of those calls were medical related.
National Emergency Medical Services Week brings together local communities and medical personnel to publicize safety and to honor the dedication of those who provide the day-to-day lifesaving pre-hospital care to patients out in the field. Join us in honoring the Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics not only in Albuquerque but throughout the metro area.
Here are some tips on when to call 911. Always call 911 if someone needs immediate medical treatment. To make this decision, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the person’s condition life-threatening?
- Could the person’s condition worsen and become life-threatening on the way to the hospital?
- Does the person require the skills or equipment of paramedics or emergency medical technicians?
- Could the distance or traffic conditions cause a delay in getting the person to the hospital?
If your answer to any of these questions is “yes,” or if you are unsure, it’s best to call 911. Paramedics and EMTs can begin medical treatment at the scene and on the way to the hospital and alert the emergency department of the person’s condition en route.
When you call for help, speak calmly and clearly. The 911 dispatcher will ask you these questions:
- What is the Address of the emergency?
- What is the phone number you are calling from?
- What happened?
- What is the Age of the patient?
- Is she/he conscious and breathing?
Don’t hang up until the dispatcher tells you to, because he or she may need more information or give you instructions.
Here are a few examples of when not to call 911:
- You have a question about the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning but don’t suspect it in your home.
- You or a family member has a minor illness.
- You need a ride to the hospital for a medication refill.