Performing Your Civic Duties

When Should You Call An Ambulance?

Municipal governments provide their citizens with access to emergency services. Ambulances are a key component in any emergency service network. Unfortunately, citizens may not always use ambulance services responsibly.

Knowing when you should call an ambulance and when you should secure other means of transportation to the hospital can reduce emergency service costs and free up life-saving support for those in need.

1. Call if the Condition May be Life Threatening

The primary goal of an ambulance is to provide immediate treatment for a patient and to continue that treatment throughout transport to a hospital facility.

Without the immediate medical care that an ambulance offers, many people would pass away before they could reach a hospital for help. Always contact an ambulance for help if the condition a person is dealing with includes shortness of breath, chest pains, labored breathing, sudden confusion, or an altered mental state.

Emergency medical service personnel will know exactly what to do to help patients suffering from these symptoms receive the proper care.

2. Call if Someone is Choking or Needs CPR

Being unable to breathe is a serious medical emergency. The brain can only go without oxygen for 4 minutes before permanent brain damage occurs. Death can occur between 4 and 6 minutes without oxygen. Anyone who is choking and requires help dislodging an obstruction or who is non-responsive and needs CPR can benefit from the help of an ambulance.

Be sure that you call the ambulance first so that help can be dispatched. Only after you have called for an ambulance should you begin administering lifesaving CPR.

3. Call if Someone Has Spinal Trauma

Anytime someone falls or is involved in any type of impact accident, the potential for spinal trauma exists. This trauma can be difficult for a layperson to spot. Spinal trauma can even set in hours after the accident occurs.

One of the worst things that you can do for someone with a potential spinal injury is attempt to move them by yourself. Emergency medical personnel have access to stabilizing equipment and the training required to prevent any additional complications when moving someone with a spinal injury.

Call an ambulance for assistance if you suspect spinal trauma has occurred, and attempt to keep the patient calm and immobile until help arrives.

Ambulances are designed to respond to true medical emergencies. It's important that you can differentiate between a true emergency and an urgent need for medical care so that you don't call for an ambulance when one isn't really needed.

To get help, reach out to emergency services, such as Town of McCormick.