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.
* Two sentence long summary of what happened
* What you need
– 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.