| What Do I Do in Case of an Emergency?
When you call 9-1-1, you should give all of the pertinent information and it needs to be clear. Try to stay calm.
State what kind of emergency it is: fire, car accident, heart attack, Haz-Mat, etc.
Where the incident is: A proper address and directions if in a large building.
Your Name and Call Back phone number: This information is necessary in case the dispatcher needs more information.
Stay on the phone: The dispatcher may ask more questions or want you to stay on the line. Emergency units already are being dispatched even while you are talking with the dispatcher.
NOTE: If you are reporting a house fire, do not call from that residence, go to a neighbor's house across the street and call 911. Children should be taught their home address and telephone number as soon as possible. In most cases, when you dial 9-1-1, the address and phone number of your location is displayed to the 9-1-1 dispatcher. However, this is not always the case because of information that may be called in from a government phone (i.e. 466, 464), cellular or mobile phones.
The dispatcher will begin to dispatch emergency units immediately. Military Police, Fire Engines, and Ambulances are dispatched according to the nature of the call. The closest unit will be sent to ensure that help arrives as soon as possible. It also means that more than one unit may be sent to the scene.
When the fire department responds to a given location, it may be delayed in arriving if the address is not clearly seen from the street. Although it's fairly easy to spot a column of smoke from a fire, it's difficult to see someone's heart attack from the street. This problem is compounded in large buildings like FRC-East. Arriving at a correct address, the engine company finds a huge facility with many buildings in the complex. In an emergency, firefighters may waste critical time having to locate the correct location. It is imperative that someone be standing near the front to direct the emergency units to the appropriate location.
When an emergency vehicle is heard and/or seen, drivers should carefully pull their vehicle to the right of the road and stop. If they are at an intersection, or stopped in traffic when they see lights or hear a siren, drivers should remain stopped and wait until the emergency vehicles have passed. Do not stop in the middle of an intersection or block a side street. Do not make quick or erratic maneuvers. Drivers also should stay 500 feet behind emergency vehicles.
A crash involving an emergency vehicle delays help to those who need it. Firefighters are careful to avoid vehicle collisions by driving slowly when traveling against traffic, or coming to a complete stop at intersections. The cooperation of all vehicles on the roadway is required. Be careful when driving by or around a motor vehicle accident or any situation where emergency vehicles are parked and the firefighters are working. Resist the impulse to "rubber-neck". This can cause additional collisions.
Even though fire apparatus are placed to protect firefighters, tragically, sometimes emergency crews have been hit and killed by passing vehicles.