Working with the Ambulance Service

health, nurse, rescue

When calling for help, the “phone first” approach is recommended in life threatening situations. This allows for a quicker response time for the ambulance and is especially important for casualties suffering from a serious injury or conditions such as a cardiac arrest. Outcomes for these casualties are significantly improved the quicker Advanced Life Support (defibrillation and drug therapy) treatment is given.

Calling for help is easy. Any person can call for an ambulance in an emergency situation via 000. The ambulance operator is specially trained in receiving emergency calls and providing instructions over the phone.

When you call Triple Zero (000)

  • Do you want Police, Fire or Ambulance?
  • Stay calm, don’t shout, and speak slowly and clearly
  • Tell us exactly where to come  
  • Give an address or location

If you are deaf or have a speech or hearing impairment call 106

  • This is a Text Emergency Call, not SMS
  • You can call from teletypewriters
  • Tell us which service you need and where to come

For CB Radios Channel 9 for 27 MHz and Channel 5 for UHF are the emergency channels.

Make your call

  • Stay calm and call 000 (112 from a mobile) from a safe place
  • When your call is answered you will be asked if you need Police, Fire or Ambulance
  • If requested by the operator, state your town and location
  • Your call will be directed to the service you asked for
  • When connected to the emergency service, stay on the line, speak clearly and answer the questions
  • Don’t hang up until the operator tells you to do so
  • Try to provide street number, street name, nearest cross street and the area
  • In rural areas give the full address and distances from landmarks and roads as well as the property name

When the ambulance arrives, DO NOT stop treatment until instructed to do so by the paramedics.

This allows the paramedics time to quickly prepare their equipment and get ready to take over treatment.

In locations, where single paramedics may respond, you may be asked to remain and assist the officer until further backup arrives. In these circumstances follow any directions given carefully.

The first aider can then assist the paramedics by:

  • Primary first aid treatment
  • Information (initial presentation, history, response to first aid treatment)
  • Assistance if requested

It is important to remember that ambulance officers have a duty of care to the casualty and, as such, need to establish things for themselves despite what you, as a first aider, have told them. Do not be surprised if they question or re-assess the casualty, even though you may have presented a thorough history.

Depending on the circumstances, they may remove any bandages that you have applied to assess the injury themselves and apply specific purpose equipment.