Since emergencies happen so quickly, it is important to know what to do ahead of time. If you find yourself in an emergency, the best thing to do is to quickly find a phone and dial 911. This number will connect you to someone who can get you help very fast. All you have to do is dial those three numbers to be connected to three different helpers at once: the police, the fire department, and an ambulance.
911 carries a lot of power, and because of that, also a lot of responsibility. You should not call 911 unless you have a real emergency.
Examples of when to NOT call 911:
- You lost something in the house.
- You had a fight with a sibling or friend.
- Your pet is lost.
- You are dared to call 911. This will land you in big trouble very quickly.
Here are times when you SHOULD call 911:
- You are in a car accident or you see a car accident happen.
- Somebody is very sick and can't breathe.
- You are the victim of a crime or you see a crime happen. This includes if you saw somebody robbing somebody else or somebody broke into your house.
- Your house or a neighbor's house is on fire.
In these situations, 911 should always be called. If you just do not know whether to call 911, ask a grownup. If an adult is not around and you feel you should call 911, then go ahead and call. It is better to be safe than sorry.
When you are on the phone with 911, it is important to follow a few rules:
- First, do not call 911 until you are safe and out of harms reach. When on the phone, try to remain as calm as possible and speak clearly and slowly.
- Try to figure out the address where you are and give a phone number so you can be located quickly.
- The operator on the phone will ask you questions. The operator will want to know as many details as possible about what happened, where you are, who is with you, who you are, and how safe you are. Be prepared to answer these questions.
- Always stay on the phone as long as the operator needs you to so that help can get to you quickly.
By calling 911 in an emergency and being prepared to offer details, you could save somebody from serious injury or even death.