Calling the Ambulance but Not for Me

Can I call an ambulance for another person?

Anyone can call 911 for an ambulance for someone else.

Do note that the number to call an ambulance may not be 911 in your country.

Even if that person is far away from you or is unrelated to you, the ambulance will still rush to scene.

Reasons why ambulance dispatchers allow foreign calls

Why? In the interest of the general public, any member of public can activate for help in any urgent situation. Unless there is a reasonable suspicion that hints the call may be a prank or for fun, emergency services will treat each plea for help as genuine. Resources are allocated and deployed accordingly.

Further, providing medical attention and performing rescue work is an essential service core to all cities. Not only does this essential service apply to all, including to the sick & vulnerable, emergency services form a core pillar of society.

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How can I call an ambulance when the ambulance is not for me?

Calling an ambulance not meant for you is simple.

When the 911 operator picks up the call, you will need to highlight that you are not with the patient.

We as the operators need this vital piece of info. Emergency services will send an ambulance to the correct location – not to you but to the patient. Otherwise, we may use your GPS location provided and the ambulance won’t be able to find any patient.

You should also highlight that the patient is alone (if he is alone).

If I call an ambulance for someone else, do I need to be present?

After you call 911, you do not need to be present when the ambulance arrives.

As the caller, you provide critical information to public emergency services (i.e. ambulance) to respond. Details such as location & type of injury could have been provided only to the caller – such as if the injured person did not know who to call and only called someone who he trusts such as a parent.

Relaying concise information allows quick redress. No time for chit chat right?

Therefore, the caller does not need to be present at the scene since the ambulance usually arrives earlier. Before your arrival, the patient would likely have been evacuated. 

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How do I call an ambulance for another person?

How to call an ambulance for others (step by step instructions)

  1. Dial 911
  2. “My dad (who) is injured as he fell of his bed (situation)”
  3. “He is 90 and can’t move on his own (severity)”
  4. “I am not with him and I need at least 20 minutes to arrive (calling for others)”
  5. “I need an ambulance”

Using the above sequence of steps, an ambulance can be sent to the incident location when a distress call is received for any member of the public.

The who-situation-severity model is one of the most effective ways to communicate details to 911 operator in a short and sweet manner. Emergency services do not have the luxury to listen to a whiny background story – only important details matter.

If you are in contact with the patient, you should keep them updated as the situation develops. Do highlight to the patient to keep themselves visible and listen closely for the siren. The ambulance siren is pretty loud.

As for the ambulance, the medical team will start treatment or provide assistance upon arrival. This on-site assistance usually happens before the caller reaches the scene because of the short response time of the ambulance. However, when the call ends and the patient is sent to the hospital safely, the caller may be liable for the ambulance bill.

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This post was last modified on March 16, 2021 7:01 pm