Tips For Helping EMS Crews

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How you can help:

• Flashing green or blue lights in a personal vehicle means a first responder is responding to an emergency. When you see the lights, pull over to the right, stop and let the vehicle pass.

• Pull over to the right, stop and yield to EMS vehicles coming from ANY direction. Periodically scan your rearview mirror and adjust music volume to stay aware and responsive to conditions around you.

• If you come upon a roadside emergency, call 911. If EMS is present, slow down, proceed cautiously, obey traffic control and give the crew room to work safely.

• When calling 911, provide your name, location (with cross street), the nature of the emergency event, and the patient’s gender, age and condition, and what you’ve done to help. Listen carefully to the dispatcher’s instructions in preparing for an ambulance’s arrival. Unlock your door, and turn your porch lights on.

• Make it easy for emergency crews to find you: your house number and name should be easily identifiable from the street. If your destination is hard to find, place someone in a visible place to safely direct arriving emergency crews to the patient.

• Clear access to driveway, doorway and hallways to allow both a vehicle and a stretcher to have access. Make sure tree branches are regularly cleared, clutter is kept to a minimum, and stairs are shoveled and not slippery.

• Keep pets secured in a separate area to reduce their agitation and to prevent them from hindering EMS personnel or running away.

• Have pertinent medical history, including current meds and allergies, readily available for first responders. Southampton Hospital offers a free kit, “Vial of Life,” to aid with the process.

• If a patient has a health care proxy, DNR order or Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST), keep these documents readily available to present to EMS personnel upon their arrival.

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