Give the 911 Dispatcher as much information as you can about your emergency. Including your location, the condition of the patient (if medical emergency), a brief medical history and anything else that could be pertinent. 911 Dispatchers are trained professionals and will ask you a series of questions to better determine the nature of the call. Please be as descriptive as possible and try to remain calm. They will make sure that the proper help will be dispatched immediately.
Once you have called 911. Turn on as many lights in the house as you can. This will make it easier for the EMS services identify your location. If possible, have someone waiting at the end of your driveway to alert EMS to your location.
The 911 system of establishing road names and house numbers has been a tremendous help to EMS services nationwide, but sometimes the house numbers can be difficult to read or obscured by obstacles. It would be prudent to drive through your neighborhood on a rainy night to see if your house number is clearly visible from the road.
If possible, gather up all the medications that the patient is currently taking and have them ready to take them to the hospital. EMS will request a medication list prior to transporting the patient to the hospital. This information will be vital to hospital staff. Another good idea is to keep a list of your medications and allergies in a pill bottle in your refrigerator. Often EMS personnel will check the refrigerator for such information and it greatly assists us in treating you. Some pharmacies have such kits available.
If there is a fire in your house, LEAVE the house immediately and move a safe distance from the property. It is a great idea to have a meeting place and at least two plans of exit that you and your family should be familiar with. In this case, it may be better to leave the house, and then notify 911 via a cell phone or neighbors phone.
NEVER remain in the house in an effort to save possessions (which can be replaced). If you awaken to smoke in your house, ROLL of the bed to the floor and CRAWL out of the dwelling, staying below the smoke. It takes very little exposure to the smoke generated by burning household materials and furniture to render someone unconscious. The air closer to the floor is going to be safer and cooler for you to breath.
If you are faced with a situation of being trapped in a room where there is fire between you and your exit. Shut the door to the room and avoid opening the window. Try blocking the space between the door and the floor to prevent smoke from entering. Opening the window with the door open will provide ventilation for the fire and actually draw the fire into the room towards you. Fire requires oxygen to breathe just as we do, opening a window will provide all the oxygen a fire needs to quickly spread. Keep in mind that a fire doubles in size every 30 seconds when given ample amounts of oxygen (air).
If you have a cell phone you can store phone numbers that you would want called in an emergency. List them under the name ICE (In Case of Emergency). This will tell the EMS personnel that these are numbers that should be called for you in case you are transported to the hospital.