when to call 911 page bnner

When to Call 9-1-1

Whenever someone experiences a medical emergency, Region of Waterloo Paramedic Services is always prepared to help. Paramedics are medical professionals and can start treatment as soon as they arrive. Paramedics can also continue important treatment on-route to the hospital where they will transfer care to the hospital staff.

Reasons for calling 911 include but are not limited to:

  • Anytime you feel the patient's condition is life-threatening
  • Chest pain or tightness 
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Sudden difficulty speaking
  • Sudden dizziness or vision problems
  • Sudden weakness, numbness and/or tingling in the face, arm or leg
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Sudden severe pain
  • Choking
  • Broken bones
  • Severe trauma
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • When in doubt, call 911

Tips to help the Paramedics

  • If you are driving and see an ambulance with its lights on, pull to the right and stop
  • When calling 911, speak calmly and clearly, give your name, address, phone number, and be prepared to describe the problem
  • Unlock doors, turn on lights, put pets away and gather any medication you may be taking
  • Take a first aid or CPR course to always be prepared