Emergencies happen when we least expect them, and they need fast thinking and action.
Here are some things to know to help you be ready.
When to Call 911
A 911 emergency is when someone needs help right away because of an injury or an
immediate danger. For example, call 911 if:
there's a fire
someone has passed out
someone suddenly seems very sick and is having a hard time speaking or breathing
or turns blue
someone is choking
you see a crime happening, like a break-in
you are in or see a serious car accident
When you call 911, the emergency operator will ask what, where, and who questions
"What is the emergency?" or "What happened?"
"Where are you?" or "Where do you live?"
"Who needs help?" or "Who is with you?"
You may feel scared or nervous if you have to call 911. That's OK. The emergency
operators who answer the phone talk to a lot of people, including adults, who are
nervous or worried when they call. And they are used to talking to kids. Just stay
as calm as you can. If you talk too fast, the operator may have trouble understanding
what's wrong and what kind of help you need.
Give the operator all the information you can about what the emergency is and how
Other Things to Know About 911
NEVER call 911 as a joke or just to see what might happen. When
the emergency operator has to take the time to talk to people who don't have a real
emergency, other people who call and do need help right away might have to wait. This
is why dialing 911 as a prank is a crime in many places.
Also, make sure you are safe before you call 911. If your home is on fire, for
instance, leave the house before calling 911. You can always call from someone else's
house or from a cellphone.
Before an emergency happens, talk to your parents or another adult about when you
should call 911. If you're not sure whether there's a real emergency and there are
no adults around, it's a good idea to make the call. You could save someone's life.