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How to prepare to call 9-1-1

Ottawa - During Emergency Medical Services Week, May 20 to 26, the Ottawa Paramedic Service wants to remind residents how to help in a medical emergency.

When someone you know falls seriously ill, calling 9-1-1 can be a lifeline. Every day in Ottawa, paramedics respond to over 300 calls for medical emergencies. Many of those are calls for heart attacks, breathing emergencies or serious injuries.

There are a number of things to remember when calling 9-1-1:

Communications officers will ask several key questions that help determine the seriousness of the call. By staying calm and answering all questions, you will help the person with the medical emergency receive help sooner.While you are answering questions, the dispatch system is sending paramedics to your location. Never hang up until the communications officer has all the necessary information.Collect all medications and medical history of the patient and have it ready when paramedics arrive.Keep all pets out of harm’s way by placing them in a closed room before the paramedics arrive.For serious injuries, communications officers are trained to provide callers with first aid instructions that will assist the person with the medical emergency. Communications officers can also provide CPR instructions.

The Ottawa Paramedic Service recommends a few simple steps you can take right now to prepare for that call:

Have the residence address well displayed. It should be clearly visible at night and across the street from your home.Keep an updated list of medical problems, medications and allergies for all occupants of your home.When a medical emergency occurs, it can be very stressful for all involved. To assist seniors, children or visitors to your home who may have to call 9-1-1, place instructions on or near the telephone with information on how to access your apartment or home. This should include address, ring codes, closest major intersection or any other access information that will get paramedics to your location sooner.

These are just a few tips that will benefit the patient and their loved ones in a time of crisis. The Ottawa Paramedic Service recommends that everyone take First Aid and CPR courses.

You can find several listed at

For more information about the Ottawa Paramedic Service, please call our customer service line at 613-580-4771 or visit

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