Make sure your 911 call really is an emergency

I am a volunteer firefighter and EMT with a local department. I saw an article about a man who died because no ambulances were available where he lived. That got me to thinking about situations I have experienced while responding to calls. We receive calls from people on a regular basis who do not require emergency services. People need to remember, we are emergency services, not transport services. We are there to respond to life-threatening situations, not trees down on the roadway. We are there to help those suffering from heart attacks, strokes, accidents, fires, rescues, drownings, and any other situation where life and/or property are at risk. When people call us to take them to the hospital because they are vomiting or just don’t feel well they take us away from those who may truly need us. A perfect example is during this recent storm we had in the area. I heard department after department get called out for trees down in the roadway. My department even had such an incident. In the meantime, a family lost their home to a fire. Call your township trustees, county highway department or ODOT for a tree down. Please think about this before calling 911. You may be taking emergency crews away from a real emergency.

John Bichard