If you want NorthStar’s EMTs to arrive in time to save your life, you need to do more than just dial 911 and pray really hard. You also need to heed the findings of a recent study published in Academic Emergency Medicine and take these four steps to eliminate EMS obstacles.
• Show the way A wrong address is the most common reason emergency services are delayed, according to the study. After you give your address to 911, ask the dispatcher to read it back to you so you can correct any errors they (or you) might have made. If your road has different names, use the official one.
• Flip the light on The right address won’t do the EMTs much good if they can’t read your house or apartment number in the dark. Flick on every outside light. And take the time now — before you’re clutching your chest — to install clearly visible reflective house numbers.
• X marks the spot
Tell the dispatcher where you’ll be inside the house. You don’t want them to waste time on a room-to-room search. Or have someone escort the EMTs to your side; in the study, doing this cut 24 lifesaving seconds off the average rescue time.
• Unlock the door Obvious? In their panic, a lot of people forget to slide the bolt or turn the key. If you’re alone and lose consciousness, the EMTs will have to burn critical minutes trying to break down the door — or doors — to reach you. Give them a clear path.
(First Published in Men’s Health in an article by Steve Volk – used by permission)