What you need to know when calling 9 -1-1 for an ambulance.

When you call 9-1-1...

Stay on the line, do not hang up.

Stay calm.

An operator will answer your call quickly and ask if you need police, fire or ambulance.

A 911 ambulance call taker will ask questions to get you help. If you need a translator, say the language you speak.Your call will be transferred to a translator.

When you have identified you need an ambulance your call will be routed to our Central Ambulance Communication Centre and a trained Ambulance Communications Officer (ACO) will answer your call.

Ambulance communication officer answering a call.

The ACO will want to know...

The call taker will ask questions to understand the medical emergency and your location, such as:

  • What is the medical emergency?
  • What is the address of the emergency (street number and address)?
  • What city or town you are located in? 
  • What is the closest major intersection to your location?
  • Where are you located at the address provided (outside of a building, inside of a building, in a vehicle, etc.)
  •  What is your phone number incase the call is disconnect?

When to call 9-1-1.

  • A medical emergency is something you can’t manage at home, a walk-in clinic, or with your family doctor. Examples of some medical emergencies include:

·       Chest pain or tightness

·       Choking or difficulty breathing

·       Sudden and severe headache, vision problems, weakness, numbness, or dizziness

·       Sudden trouble speaking or tingling in your face, arm, or leg

·       A fracture or break in a long bone such as an arm or leg

·       Serious burns

·       Unexpected seizure 

·       Uncontrolled bleeding 

·       A child with diarrhea and vomiting who will not eat or drink

·       An unresponsive individual

·       A labor that is progressing rapidly and you don’t think you can make it safely to a hospital before delivering

If you’re not sure how serious your health concern is, call 9-1-1 or Telehealth Ontario at 1 866-797-0000. 

Ways to help while you wait for the ambulance...

Inside your home

·       Make sure your front door is open. Have someone stand at the door to meet the paramedics.

·       Clear the path to the patient. Remove items such as shoes or small rugs from the floor, steps, and around the front door.

·       1 or 2 people can stay with the patient if the patient can’t speak for themselves.

·       Put pets in a different room.

·      Do not smoke or vape. 

·      Gather information on the patient, such as medical history, medications, known allergy information, etc. 

 

Outside your home

·       Turn on your outside lights so your house number and front door are visible.

·       Remove cars from your driveway if possible. Put away items that may get in the way, such as bicycles or a garden hose.

·       Shovel a path through the snow so the paramedics can bring the stretcher to your front door. Salt the path, front porch, and steps.

·      Have someone stand outside your home to flag down the paramedics. This will help them locate your house right away.