What happened when you call 911

An Ambulance Is on the Way… and Who Else?

As soon as it is clear to the dispatcher what type of emergency you are having and where you are located, he or she will start the crews rolling. Let’s start by taking a look at 911 calls for medical emergencies.

Most of the time, the ambulance isn’t going to come without some help. There are usually two caregivers on an ambulance. Often, it’s a paramedic and an EMT. On the way to the hospital, one is going to drive while the other provides medical care in the back. In dire situations, especially on the top floor of a four-story building or when multiple people are needed to provide care (such as performing CPR), the ambulance will be joined by some other form of first responders.

That extra help for the ambulance crew comes in many forms depending on where you live. In most places, the first responders are firefighters in a fire engine, but it can also be a lone paramedic in an SUV or a police officer in a patrol car. In some parts of the country, it might be a whole slew of volunteer firefighters in their own personal pickup trucks arriving well ahead of the ambulance.

Is there something the responders need to know to find you once they get to your address? Is your home clearly marked? Are you able to describe that weird side driveway to your apartment complex? These are things you should know so you can tell the dispatcher while crews are on their way to your home. Write them down. Ask your neighbors if they’ve had trouble getting help and ask them what the pitfalls were.

In some cases, an ambulance all by itself is enough to take care of your medical issue. Indeed, maybe the ambulance doesn’t even need to turn on the lights and siren. Regardless whether your medical condition is deemed an emergency where flashing lights and a wailing siren are necessary or not, there are a few things you can do while waiting for the ambulance to make the whole process smoother.

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