Calling 911 in Niagara

If you need emergency help in Niagara, call 911 (free from any cell or payphone). When you indicate it's a medical emergency to the 911 operator, your call will be transferred to the Niagara Emergency Medical Services Dispatch Centre.

Niagara Emergency Medical Services is made up of primary and advanced care paramedics and emergency medical dispatchers who are committed to providing high quality emergency pre-hospital medical care.

Pre-hospital care includes the emergency medical dispatchers dispatching an ambulance through the use of a priority system. They identify the nature and seriousness of the call and forward details to the responding paramedics who are en route. They also provide the caller with pre-arrival instructions.

The highly trained paramedics provide emergency medical care to stabilize a patient's condition at the scene and during transport to hospital.

Emergency care begins the moment you call 911.

When to call 911

Sometimes it's difficult to know whether your medical problem is serious or not. If you have any doubts about whether you're experiencing a medical emergency, call 911.

Here are just a few examples of when you should call 911 to access emergency medical care:

  • Pain or tightness in the chest (heart attack symptoms)
  • Sudden, severe headaches, vision problems, sudden weakness, numbness and / or tingling in the face, arm or leg, trouble speaking, or dizziness (stroke symptoms)
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Severe pain
  • Choking or difficulty breathing
  • Head injuries
  • Serious burns
  • Major bone fractures or fractures associated with bleeding
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Unresponsiveness or coma
  • Drug overdose
  • High fever associated with difficulty breathing or with a seizure / post seizure
  • Unexpected seizure
  • Heat stroke
  • Drowning

Labour in an emergency

In emergency situations, always call 911 if your labour is rapidly progressing and you don't think you can safely arrive at the nearest hospital before delivering. Also call 911 for other emergency situations or go to your nearest Emergency Department.

Children in an emergency

Always call 911 or take your child to the nearest Emergency Department in an emergency.

For the safety of everyone, always follow the rules of the roads if choosing to drive a patient to hospital.

Information you should provide to the emergency medical dispatcher

When calling 911, the emergency medical dispatcher will stay on the line until the paramedics arrive and ask the caller for the following information:

  • Address of your emergency
  • Phone number you're calling from
  • Exactly what happened
  • Age of patient
  • Whether the person is awake or breathing
  • Provide the caller with important first aid, labour and delivery, and / or CPR instructions based on medical emergency

Life-threatening situation

In a life-threatening situation, Niagara Emergency Medical Services immediately sends highly trained paramedics to the scene. Where appropriate, the emergency medical services dispatcher will also notify the local fire and / or police services to respond to the call.

Our objective is to ensure trained help arrives on the scene as quickly as possible.

When the fire department arrives before Emergency Medical Services the firefighters are trained in first aid, CPR and other advanced first aid procedures. They will assess the patient and provide basic care until the ambulance arrives.

At that time the paramedics will perform a full medical patient assessment and provide medical care on the scene and during transportation to the appropriate health care facility.

Whether patients arrive by ambulance, car, or on foot, they are triaged to ensure that the sickest patients are seen first.

Other ways to help while awaiting ambulance arrival

  • Gather information on the patient including medical history, medications, known allergies, etc.
  • Clear a path to the patient - move furniture, unlock doors
  • Be sure your house number is clearly visible from the street and turn on the outside lights at night
  • If you live in an apartment, try to have someone meet the ambulance at the lobby door and have the elevator ready
  • Don't move the patient, unless life is threatened
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