Right Call, Right Care

When seeking medical care do you know who to call?

Paramedics are medical professionals and can start treatment as soon as they arrive as well as continue important treatment on the way to the hospital. However, knowing your other health care options can ensure you get the most appropriate care.

Although calling 911 would seem to be the quickest way to get care, ambulance transport does not guarantee a faster response at hospital. Patients are assessed regardless of how they arrive and are seen according to the severity of their condition. With this in mind, people are encouraged to consider other --sometimes more appropriate-- care options for their needs before calling 911.

Other care options include:

  • Consulting your primary care provider
  • Calling Health Connect Ontario at 811
  • Going to a local walk-in clinic
  • Visiting your local pharmacy
  • Exploring self-care at home

Taking time to explore other options prior to calling 911 could result in quicker more appropriate care while allowing our paramedics to be available when needed most.

Never hesitate to contact 911 if you experience shortness of breath, chest pain or symptoms of stroke.

Tips to help paramedics in an emergency

In case of an emergency, be prepared by having a medical information card ready to take to the hospital along with your medications. Print the Paramedic Services MEDIC Card, fill it out and keep it with your medications.

To ensure you are getting the right care from your paramedics, follow these tips:

  • If you are driving and see an ambulance with its lights on, pull to the right and stop
  • Unlock doors, turn on lights, put pets away and gather any relevant medication
  • Take a first aid or CPR course to always be prepared for the unexpected
  • When calling 911, speak calmly and clearly; give your name, address, phone number; and be prepared to describe the problem

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