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Calling an ambulance

When making an emergency call gather as much information about your location as you possibly can, including the street name, area name and any important landmarks that will make it easier to find you. 

Know what the problem is

Many calls are made to the emergency line by people who do not know what the problem is or what is happening. An Ambulance is unlikely to be sent until the details of the situation are known. This is because:

  • calls are dealt with in order of priority
  • there are other emergency responders, not just ambulances; these are community first responders, cars, standby staff and helicopters (at certain times during the year)
  • ambulance crews need to be aware of the situation they are going into beforehand. You will need to answer a few questions about the casualty and possibly perform first aid

Keep calm

Give clear and concise answers to questions and do not be afraid to say ‘I don’t know’ if you are unsure of anything.

Do not hang up until asked to do so

A call to an emergency line will last approx 2 to 3 minutes or until the ambulance arrives. The length of call has absolutely no bearing on how long it will take for ambulance to arrive, what the operator is telling you is very important.

Trust the operator

Do not waste time telling the operator things like: 'Hurry! It’s an emergency! Stop asking questions and just send an ambulance'. They have been trained to treat any call to an emergency line as urgent and the questions they ask are vital.

Meet the ambulance

If you have someone else at the scene, get them to stand outside, somewhere that will be easily visible and to wave to make their presence known to the ambulance. The location may be obvious to you, but not always to the ambulance crew.

Keep your phone switched on

If you cannot keep your phone on please give an alternative number. Often you will be called back and asked additional information.

Keep a civil tongue

Do not be rude to the operator and start cursing. Getting upset and arguing is not going to help anybody and may make the situation worse that it already is.

Learn first aid

You can get instructions over the phone about delivering first aid, but do not wait until you are in an emergency to learn the basics. There are many organisations on the island such as St John Ambulance, who can provide training.  

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