Our mantra at Broaddus Defense is Be The One,
as in be the one to make a positive impact in a negative situation.
You don’t have to be a medical professional to save someone’s life,
especially if they’re bleeding.
Since May is National Stop The Bleed Month, we wanted to take a minute to remind everyone how important it is to call 911.
It sounds like common sense, but giving the dispatcher your name is a priority. Many people are not able to keep calm in a traumatic situation, especially if the victim is someone they know. You are more likely to respond to someone saying your name rather than “sir” or “ma’am”. If the 911 operator needs to bring your focus back, saying your name is the easiest way.
If you are hysterical, get someone else in the area to call 911. If there is no one else in the area, dial 911 and let the dispatcher help you take a few deep breaths.
The most important piece of information you can provide during a 911 call is your location. If possible, give an intersection, numerical address and street name, and/or landmarks such as businesses, schools, or parks.
If you do not know where you are, there are a few things you can do to figure it out:
- Open the map app on your smart phone and find street names, intersections, or points of interest. Most 911 offices are able to ping cell phone towers to get a general vicinity, but it does take a couple of minutes and is usually a large area.
- Tell the operator where you were going and where you were coming from. This information can shed light on potential roads and traveling direction.
- Are you at someone’s house? Providing a license plate number that the police department can trace back to a registered address may be all you need.
It may feel as though the dispatcher is asking a lot of questions (and they are) but once the location and nature of the emergency are established, it’s imperative to remember that their questions are not hindering service. Help is on the way and, until help arrives, the dispatcher can guide you to help the person who is bleeding.
- Can you identify where the blood is coming from? If so, they will probably want you to put pressure on the wound. Grab a cloth (the cleanest thing you can find) and put that between your hands and the wound to help with clotting.
- Are they breathing? Look at their chest. Are they making noises that sound like they’re snoring? Put your ear next to their face. The patient’s breath determines a lot of decisions, both by the 911 dispatcher and the first responders.
- Are they conscious? What position are they in? The dispatcher may be able to help you reposition the patient in a way that facilitates their breathing or prevent them from choking.
Remember, providing information and following directions can easily save someone’s life. Each emergency is different so outcomes may vary but doing everything you can to help will mean more than you know.
Don’t try to move the person, treat their injuries, or perform CPR unless you are a medical professional
or instructed to do so by a medical professional since you may accidentally do more harm than good.