Useful Numbers
Here are some essential phone numbers you may need in the event of an emergency at home.

Medical emergencies

In a medical emergency dial 000 and ask for ambulance. This is a free call anywhere in Australia at any time. In a medical emergency there may be a short period of time where those involved in the emergency or those standing nearby will have to take action to help the injured person until professional help arrives.

You should always call an ambulance in the event of an emergency requiring urgent medical attention. Examples of medical emergencies include:
  • Sudden collapse;
  • Chest pain;
  • Breathing difficulty;
  • Motor vehicle/cycle accident;
  • Fractured bones;
  • Uncontrollable bleeding.

In urgent medical situations it is most important that you ring 000 for an ambulance, do not panic or drive to hospital yourself. People driving themselves to hospital in urgent medical situations have often been in accidents not only risking further injury to themselves, but also to others on the road.

Ambulance officers are highly trained health professionals. They bring modern emergency and resuscitation equipment to the patient and commence lifesaving treatment at the scene as well as continuing this on the way to hospital.

Medical Emergencies








Dial 000

When you call 000 you will be connected to an Ambulance Operations Centre call-taker who will ask you a standard set of questions.  Be prepared to answer:
  • What is the exact address of the emergency? The operator will ask for the  suburb name and nearest cross street.
  • What is the phone number you are calling from? This information is important in case the operations centre needs to call back to obtain further information.
  • What is the problem, tell me exactly what happened? Should the caller not
    understand the question it will be rephrased and repeated.
  • How old is s/he? Approximate age if unsure.
  • Is s/he conscious? Yes or no answer required.
  • Is s/he breathing? Yes or no answer required.

Answering these questions will assist in getting an ambulance to you as quickly as possible. It is important to stay calm, speak slowly and do not hang up. The ambulance call-taker can also provide medical instruction over the phone.

Medical Emergencies










Additional questions may be asked by the operator, who will also provide further assistance or instructions depending on the situation. For example, if you ring about a person suffering from chest pain you may be asked the following additional questions regarding the patient.
  • Is s/he completely awake? \
  • Is s/he breathing normally?
  • Is s/he changing colour?
  • Is s/he clammy?
  • Does s/he have a history of heart problems?
  • Did s/he take any drugs of medication in the past 12 hours?

This information can then be relayed to ambulance officers who are on their way.


While yo
u wait

Administering immediate first aid in an emergency situation can make a significant difference to someone who is sick or injured. When confronted with an emergency situation remember the D.R.A.B.C:
  • Danger
  • Response
  • Airway
  • Breathing and
  • Circulation

Call '000' immediately and ask for AMBULANCE.

Medical Emergencies








Check for danger

Look for danger to yourself, bystanders and the patient. If able to do so, remove the patient from danger or the danger from the patient without putting yourself at risk. For example, remove the patient away from a fire, or divert traffic away from an injured patient at a scene.

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Check for
a response

Identify if the patient is conscious by asking the patient questions such as "open your eyes" or " can you hear me" while gently shaking their shoulders. If conscious, reassure the patient and seek medical advice

If there is no response, carefully roll the patient onto their side, (this is called the recovery position) ensuring that you support the patient's neck. If the patient is in a motor vehicle, gently tilt the head back.


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Check the airway

Open the airway by tilting the patient's head back and lifting the chin. Do not perform a head tilt on babies or injured patients.

Check that the airway is not blocked by sweeping the mouth with your fingers removing any solid pieces of food or other things and letting any fluid drain out.

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Check breathing

The three principles are 'Look, Listen and Feel':
  • Look for the rise and fall of the chest;
  • Listen for breath sounds from their mouth or nose; and
  • Feel for the rise and fall of chest.

If the patient is breathing keep them on their side (recovery position). Remain with the patient whilst continuing to monitor them and check the breathing and pulse (on the side of the neck, next to the Adam's Apple) every few minutes until the ambulance arrives.

If the patient is not breathing, turn them onto their back, open the airway by tilting the patient's head back and after lifting their chin, commence EAR (Expired Air Resuscitation) as follows:
  • Adult - Pinch the patient's nostrils and seal your mouth over patient's mouth
    and give 5 full breaths in 10 seconds.
  • Child - Use 5 smaller breaths for a child.
  • Baby - Seal your mouth over the baby's mouth and nose and give 5 quick puffs

In each case ensure that the chest rises and falls with each breath. Re-check breathing, if the patient is still not breathing check for a pulse.

Medical Emergencies







Check circulation

Feel for the pulse located next to the patient's Adam's Apple using your fingers. If there is a pulse but no breathing continue EAR (Expired Air Resuscitation) as follows:
  • Adult - 1 breath per 4 seconds;
  • Child - 1 breath per 3 seconds;
  • Baby - 1 puff per 3 seconds.

Ensure that the patient's chest rises and falls with each breath. Re-check breathing, if the patient is still not breathing check for a pulse now and every 2 minutes.

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If there is no pulse commence CPR immediately
  • Adult - Position the heel of one hand on the breastbone (sternum) in the centre of the patient's chest, right between the nipples while grasping the wrist with your other hand.
  • Child - Position the heel of one hand on the on the breastbone (sternum) in
    the centre of the patient's chest, right between the nipples.
  • Baby - Position 2 fingers in the centre of the breastbone (sternum) just between the nipples

Give 2 breaths to every 15 compressions (4 times per minute). Compress chest to 1/3 of its depth. Continue to check for a pulse every two minutes.

If the pulse returns but the person has no breathing continue EAR (Expired Air Resuscitation) until the ambulance arrives.

Always stay with the person until help arrives. Keep the ambulance call-taker informed of the patient's condition (if possible ask someone to do this for you). 

Check for any visible signs of injury and if present control severe bleeding by applying direct pressure to the affected area. Support broken bones (fractures) by immobilising the limb.

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Medical emergency tips
  • Teach children how to call 000 and to give information such as their name,
    address and phone number.
  • Put your address and telephone number on, or near, your phone just in case a visitor has to call for assistance on your behalf.
  • If calling from a house, unit, flat or business address, ensure that the
    house/street number is clearly visible from the street.
  • If your location is hard to find, have someone wait outside the building/location to wave the ambulance down (or leave the front light on at night).
  • If you live in a rural area or an area difficult to find, remember landmarks such as for example, 'a yellow house with blue picket fence'.
  • Make it a habit to note street names of places you frequent such as shops,
    schools, parks, restaurants, clubs and sporting grounds. This could assist you to give more detailed information.
  • On trips to unfamiliar areas advise someone of your planned route.
  • Carry a torch with you at night.
  • If there is a cordless phone at the address where the ambulance is required, 
    ensure you take the handset with you when moving around the immediate
    vicinity.
  • Always provide accurate information to help the ambulance to get to you quickly.
  • The Ambulance Service encourages everyone to learn first aid. This often gives you the confidence to assist when someone is injured or ill.


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