If in an emergency situation, clear, effective and accurate information you give to others is key. You’re not giving a story, you’re giving facts. Keeping emotions out of it can be hard, but it can save lives.

If you ever find yourself in an emergency situation, you might have to call someone and let them know what happened. It is important that you leave emotions out of that conversation. They don’t need a story, they need facts.

Let’s say that for the first scenario, you witnessed a biker get hit by a car. He’s injured and needs help. You’re probably going to be distraught, but you need to call 911.

Here’s a format you can follow.

* Name
* Location
* Two sentence long summary of what happened
* What you need

For example:

– 911 What’s your emergency?

“Yes, hi, my name is John Smith, I’m at the corner of X and Y street. I just witnessed a biker get hit by a car. He is currently unconsciouss. I need an ambulance right away.”

This way, an ambulance can be dispatched right away and while it’s en route, the dispatcher can start asking you other questions about the victim, or he can start telling you what you need to do to help save his life. The information you give has to be accurate.

For our second scenario, let’s say your daughter was in a car accident, everyone is okay, just a little fender bender. She’s scared and distraught. She calls you and starts crying.

“What’s going on? Are you okay? What happened?” You ask, but she is still crying and immediately, your mind goes to the worst case scenario.

“Where are you? Are you hurt? Please talk to me.” You’re worried, you have no idea where she is. You check the location of her phone and notice she’s just around the corner, so you run out, thinking the worst. She gains enough composure to tell you she was in a car accident, but goes back to crying right away. This call has now lasted 6 minutes and you still know absolutely nothing. You get there, and see that she’s okay, she was just worried about the family car. She just doesn’t realize you love her more than the car.

Now how would this look with a little composure?

We can use the same format as before.

“Hey Dad, it’s me, I’m okay, no one got hurt. I’m in the parking lot at Walmart, somebody backed into my car and it’s not drive-able. The police are on their way. Can you please come and get me?”

Short, clear, all the required information was accurate and given concisely. The entirety of the call took about 45 seconds.

It can be hard to stay calm and focused in stressful situations, such as those where lives are on the line. But if you’re able to not panic, you’ll be able to help a lot more people.

EDIT: Typo

by torji99View Source

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  1. Hello and welcome to LifeProTips!

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  2. I have been in a few situations where people have been injured. It is fascinating to watch the indecision of everyone around. They literally are looking for someone to take charge.

    Commands like: “Call 911” will generally be ignored as everyone assumes the command is for someone else. Pointing at someone and loudly stating “You – Call 911 RIGHT now” is much more effective. Other commands like “you, come here, hold this and apply pressure. Tell me immediatly if something changes”

    For people who are injured, I find the several times I have been in an emergency situation, the victim does not want to be a bother… one victim was literally passing in and out of conciousness but did not want to be a bother. Decisiveness is important. “No, you are going to the hospital now.” And even asking someone to drive them can be much quicker than waiting for an ambulance. Generally if the drive to medical care is less than The wait time, its better to drive them. Its a balance of if the ER will be quicker or the EMTs. The goal being to get the patient into the hands of a professional.

    I also understand that hot asphault/roadway can lead to bad burns. But I have not witnessed that.

    In public, be aware the victim could also have children watching. Be aware thay they will be scared and juxtaposed between wanting and adult to help them, and stranger danger.

    Just my learnings from several emergency situations I have had to take charge of.

  3. When in doubt, just give the information the dispatcher asks for.

    — “911. What’s your emergency?”

    Tell them the emergency.

    — “Where are you?”

    Tell them your location…. And so on.


    Also, in the US at least, be careful about ordering an ambulance that people might not be able to afford.

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