DON’T WAIT: Senior operations supervisor for the West Moreton Ambulance Service Network Tom Parsonage.
DON’T WAIT: Senior operations supervisor for the West Moreton Ambulance Service Network Tom Parsonage. David Nielsen

Dial for help, don't delay: Queensland Ambulance Service

IN A medical emergency, calling for an ambulance quickly can mean the difference between life and death.

However, according to the Queensland Ambulance Service, people often hesitate to phone because they are not sure if the situation qualifies as an emergency.

West Moreton Ambulance Service Network senior operations supervisor Tom Parsonage said there were some signs that should not be ignored when deciding whether or not to call an ambulance.

In his 23-year-long career, the 54-year-old said there had been many instances where people had waited too long to call triple zero.

"A lot of people have mistakenly blamed chest pains on things like indigestion, when it turned out they were suffering a serious heart attack," Mr Parsonage said.

"Holding off from calling an ambulance seems to be more typical in males, as a lot of men believe they're bulletproof.

"A lot of older people also resist calling if they think their condition is not serious enough to qualify as 'an emergency'."

Mr Parsonage said other situations like breathing difficulties, uncontrolled bleeding and lapses in consciousness should be treated equally as seriously and an ambulance should be called immediately.

"Calling an ambulance doesn't cost anything and at the end of the day, we're here to help the community," Mr Parsonage said.

"The only way we can do that is if people call us when they are ill."

When people phone triple zero, they are put through to an operator who will ask if they require an ambulance, police or fire assistance.

The caller will then be connected to an emergency medical dispatcher.

Emergency Call

When dialling triple zero for an ambulance it is helpful to be ready to answer the following questions:

  • What is the exact location of the emergency?
  • What is the phone number you are calling from?
  • What is the problem; what exactly happened?
  • How many people are hurt?
  • How old is the person?
  • Is the person conscious (still awake)?
  • Is the person breathing?


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