Reporting a Medical Emergency

As a citizen, you may be the first person on the scene of any medical call. With the assistance of our Emergency Telecommunications Dispatchers, you can provide basic emergency medical care until the fire department and ambulance arrive. Should you need to call 911 for a medical emergency, a trained professional will answer the phone and ask a series of questions. These questions are part of a comprehensive Emergency Medical Dispatch program developed by the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch. Please follow the lead of the Dispatcher and answer the questions that are being asked. These questions have been designed to identify the severity of the medical problem and provide valuable information through the dispatcher to the paramedics en-route to the call. Our  Dispatchers can assist you in basic life support treatment until the fire department arrives. This treatment includes CPR, baby delivery, bleeding control, and choking management.

Be prepared to answer the following questions about the incident.


Where is the incident occurring? Street address? Is it an apartment or a house? At a business? On the street? Near what cross street or address? What business on what street and what address?

The location of the incident is one of the most important pieces of information that you can provide, and one of the first questions you will be asked. If the dispatcher doesn't know where you are help won't be able to be able to get there. When providing the location, please try to be as specific as possible. Keep in mind that certain businesses in town have more than one address. For example, there are several Dunkin Donuts in the City of Westfield. If you are calling from a multifamily residence, please provide the floor and/or apartment number so we can find the problem. If you are on the street, please provide specific address information along with the nearest intersecting street.

Tell Me Exactly What Happened?

You will be asked to explain the medical problem you are reporting, potentially along with the events leading up to that problem.

Additional Questions

You will be asked a series of additional questions dependent upon the nature of the medical emergency you are reporting. These questions help us to send you the most appropriate resources.

  • How old is the patient?
  • Is the patient awake now?
  • Is the patient breathing?
  • Is the patient breathing normally?
  • Questions about basic medical history.

Pre-Arrival Medical Instructions - You can make a difference!

Once you have answered the appropriate questions, the Emergency Telecommunications Dispatchers will provide instructions to manage the patients condition until the fire department and ambulance arrive. They can also instruct you to perform any necessary treatments. Our Dispatchers can talk you through performing CPR, baby delivery, bleeding control and choking. In a true emergency, when seconds count, your assistance can significantly impact the patient's outcome.