How do I report a medical emergency?

SGMC Paramedic Unit by John S. Quarterman

SGMC Paramedic Unit by John S. Quarterman

Call 9-1-1 in the US or Canada and call 1-1-2 in the UK

In order to report a medical emergency, you should immediately call the ambulance service. Secondly, inform them of the symptoms you see are happening to the victim. Third, you follow all the instructions given to you by the specialists. Finally, the ambulance should arrive and relieve you of the stress.

What do I do if I see someone having a heart attack?

Fire Department paramedics, 2000 by Seattle Municipal Department

Call 9-1-1 in the US/Canada or 1-1-2 in the UK

Try not to panic and call the emergency team

If you witness a medical emergency, such as a heart attack, immediately call 911 if in US/Canada, or 112 if in the UK. The team will come and help you deal with the problem do not try doing anything yourself unless told to.

Heart damage

If not treated within a specific time frame, the person can suffer from further heart damage that may be fatal. Some patients with heart attacks die before they reach the hospital so the number one rule is don’t panic and call right away!

A tree fell on my property. What do I do?

Tree On House

Devastation in Tuscaloosa by USACE

A homeowner’s nightmare: rain, thunder, roaring winds, and all of the sudden you hear a loud falling sound and see that one of your trees has fallen onto your house.

Below are some specific steps you should take:

Make sure everyone is safe and accounted for
This seems like a no-brainer, but in an emergency situation, especially if kids can be involved, make sure you know where everyone is.

Keep everyone in a safe place
Fallen trees can cut power lines or cause gas leaks. If you see a downed power line, make sure everyone avoids it. Downed lines can electrocute and kill. DO NOT try to grab it and keep your kids away from it. There have been cases of people taking videos with their phones when a wire hit a puddle and the current reached them. If you smell gas, that can be trouble too. If you can, turn off all electricity and get away from the house, as far away from cut lines as possible and move toward a place where you can have shelter.

Call the police
Dial 9-1-1 in the US and Canada, 1-1-2 in the UK. The police can walk you through all necessary steps and can send the right personnel to help with any wires, fires, gas leaks, or other problems. They can also guide you with what to do regarding first aid if anyone is injured to most help that person before ambulances arrive.

Call your insurance
The insurance will help with any clean-up and can provide you with who to call to get your roof, fence, and other property repaired. They will also help you in dealing with damage to neighbors or from neighbors. Take plenty of photos once it is safe.

If you have trees that tend to overgrow, keep them trimmed and get records from the tree-trimming company. If you’re in an area where high winds can occur, contact local home inspectors for further advice–it can save you a lot of time, money, injuries, and could possibly save lives.

When can I contact the police?

Emergency Call Box

Emergency Call Box by Adrian Nier


You can call the police at any time of the day. Police emergency networks work around the clock.

If you find yourself in a situation that needs the support of the police, fire, or ambulance services, never hesitate to call 9-1-1 US/CA (1-1-2 UK).

If you ever see suspicious activity or see someone’s life, health, or property in danger you should call the police.

Who do I contact in an emergency situation?

Chicago Police

Chicago Police by Michael Gil

It really depends on the situation. A general guideline is to contact (1) nearby help, (2) the authority, and (3) family members/friends in that order.

Scary example:
If someone is threatening you in the middle of the street:
1. Move toward a more public area, so that others can see/help. If the person attacks, as you run/defend yourself, scream at the top of your lungs and single out someone in the crowd so he/she intervenes and helps you or get police/or gets others to help.
2. Once situation permits, you contact the police or paramedics.
3. Contact loved ones to let them know what happened and see if they can help and offer support.

Alternative example:
Your wallet disappears in another country:
1. Ask the people around you if they might have it or saw where you may have left it.
2a. Contact the police or embassy (if you need a passport/additional support).
2b. Contact your bank to make sure your accounts are blocked from unauthorized activity.
3. Contact loved ones/friends if you need additional help and the worry that this will cause them is worth you spreading the news (for example, if you share a credit card with your partner to let him or her know that you froze the account).

Final example:
You’re at a store and a lost kid runs up to you, crying and asking for his mom:
1./2. Come up to a store employee and ask them to call for the parent over the loudspeaker or to get other staff to help find them
3. Wait for parents to arrive.