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Disaster Manual: Recognizing Emergencies

A comprehensive collection of links to resources for disaster prevention, recovery, training, and outreach.

Recognizing Emergencies and When to Call an Ambulance

When should you call an ambulance?

 Before calling an ambulance, it is important to ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Is the victim's condition life threatening?
  • Could the victim's condition worsen and become life threatening on the way to the hospital?
  • Could moving the victim cause further injury?
  • Does the victim need the skills or equipment of paramedics or emergency medical technicians?
  • Would distance or traffic conditions cause a delay in getting the victim to the hospital?

If the answer to any of the questions above is "yes" or if you are unsure, it is best to call an ambulance.

How to call an ambulance

To call an Ambulance, press the numbers 9- 9-1-1 on any phone.  When your call is answered, try to remain calm.  Speak slowly and clearly, and listen to the questions the dispatcher asks you.

Give the address where the emergency is:  The Bellevue University Library's address is: 1028 Bruin Blvd.  Give the phone number you are calling from, especially if it is a cell phone.

Give the location of victim (such as back hallway.) Tell the dispatcher the nature of the problem. If possible, obtain the victim’s name.

Do Not Hang Up until the dispatcher tells you to.  They may need additional information or need to give you instructions. Return to the injured party. (Do not move a seriously injured person unless it is a lifesaving situation.) If possible have someone meet Campus Safety or emergency medical personnel at lot or building entrance.

Ambulance Costs:  

If the victim is a Bellevue University employee or student, the cost for the ambulance to drive the victim to the hospital is covered by the University.  (Per Human Resources).

Recognizing Life Threatening Emergencies (Warning Signs)

  • Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath
  • Chest or upper abdominal pain or pressure
  • Fainting
  • Sudden dizziness, weakness or change in vision
  • Change in mental status (such as unusual behavior, confusion)
  • Sudden severe pain anywhere in the body
  • Bleeding that will not stop
  • Coughing up or vomiting blood
  • Suicidal or homicidal feelings