View Full Version : Paramedics Response to 911

06-01-2012, 08:07 AM
I've done some internet searching, but I'm not finding my answer so hopefully someone here can help.

My MC has had a cup of coffee and nothing else to eat or drink in about 30 hours so she is probably some dehydrated. Exhausted. She has two cuts across her forearm (think top of arm if palm is facing the floor) made with a sharp hunting knife which are bleeding. Gash on palm of other hand which has scabbed over. Someone called 911 and left the phone off the hook. Her German shepherd is lying beside her.

If paramedics respond, according to procedure, what do they say to her? Do they identify themselves first? Ask her name? Start with accessing injuries?

Thanks for any help. :)

ETA: Present day Canada. MC: adult female, 36 years old.

06-01-2012, 08:41 AM
Paramedics know in route at least one injury that's occured to the pt because dispatch informs them...so unless the person that dialed 911, dialed and then set the phone down without talking to the dispatcher, they will have a general idea of the condition of the scene. Each medic may have a slightly different approach, but usually confirming the pt's name that needs medical attention would be one of the first questions-then an assesment of vitals would follow...I think the blaring sirens and huge ass ambulance might be enough of an indication, but I think your medical staff will still identify themselves just as police or fire would.
Just my take- best of luck :)

06-01-2012, 08:54 AM
Landlines will tell the operator the name of the resident and the address, cell phones don't always give a name especially if people are under a business account. When the cell dials 911 the operators have to use a GPS system to get the address. So they might not know her name.

They knock on the door and identify themselves. "Paramedics, open the door or Paramedics, we're responding to your 911 call."

Your girl has to let them in. They will ask what happened to her and ask her name while they are attending to her dripping cuts. If she can't answer the door they will look through the window and if they see blood or her passed out on the floor they will try to get in using any route they can. However, your dog could present a problem if she can't open the door and it goes into guard dog routine. I suspect overprotective dogs have slowed up more than one emergency response.

Assuming she opened the door, they would put immediate preassure on the bleeding wound and begin a basic workup. Includes: IV and vital signs.

Hope this helped some.

06-01-2012, 04:22 PM
What does your plot need? Because quite honestly, what you've got adds up to a big lot of nothing. Her blood sugar is going to be low, but unless she's diabetic, probably not terribly exciting. Her cuts are minor. Dehydration would be treated with an IV.

With a phone call where the party disappears from the phone, you're going to go through the door as you're knocking on it, assuming you've got a big emergency. Most ambulances carry something to restrain dogs, although they've never been a problem for me.

You start with the A (airway), B (breathing), C (circulation). Then you start the patient assessment. But I can go through a whole lot of this in the distance from the door to the patient. One thing I'd probably notice is some neurological impairment from exhaustion, including some slurring. This means I'd be doing a neurological assessment as I go along, asking questions, probing memory.

Biggest concern I'd have is whether she's suicidal, but I'd probably end up concluding she's just whacked out and wondering what drugs she's on. An IV and a bandage and a ride to the hospital and dump her on the doctors to decide what to do with her. No lights and siren on the way to the hospital. If you work in a decent sized city, you probably get a couple of these a week. They're no big deal.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

06-01-2012, 06:55 PM
Some excellent advice has been given above.

They probably wouldn't know her name. Aside from the fact that even if the dispatcher did get a name from the residential landline caller ID, there's no guarantee the resident is the one who needs help, but even more importantly, even if the dispatcher does know the name, they are not going to broadcast that over the radio. Plenty of average citizens own radios/police scanners and listen to calls that go out over the fire/police/EMS bands, so it would be a horrible breach of privacy to throw around patients' names over the radio. Most likely the EMTs/medics would receive something like "36 year old female, severely dehydrated, at 108 East River Road."

Storyteller5, you said that someone called 911 and left the phone off the hook. Did they tell the dispatcher anything, or did they simply dial 911 and leave the phone without uttering a word? If the dispatcher doesn't receive any information, then the police would head to the scene first. Upon arrival, they'd check it out, and when they found the woman they'd call for EMS, and start giving her basic aid (I don't know if it's universal, but everywhere I've lived, all police/fire are trained as first responders) and ask her name, what happened, get a basic interview, etc. They'd also isolate the dog, probably shut it in a room so it doesn't get in the way/bite. As BAY said, dogs can be a problem. If the ambulance/medics were the first ones on scene, and the dog gave them trouble, well, I can't speak too broadly but in my experience if a violent/aggressive dog prevented access to the patient we'd call the police and wait for them to secure the scene before going further.

When the ambulance arrives, they'd do everything jclarkdawe said above.

06-01-2012, 07:16 PM
Perfect. Thanks for all your good info. I think I need to rework this part. I'm second guessing a bunch of it, but I'm hardly objective this morning.

06-01-2012, 07:55 PM
I don't know if it's too late, but from what I've learned at my BLS course the first step (once inside the house that is) is to check for a response and breathing simultaneously. If your MC is unconscious but is breathing and has a pulse they would move on to what was mentioned above-- IV fluids, etc.

If for some or other reason your MC is not breathing and has no pulse (your MC might have went into shock which had escalated, causing her pulse to drop. If left untreated your MC would die-- but I think that would take a while to develop) then the paramedics would immediately start CPR-- starting with chest compressions.
Once your MC is revived they would move on to treating all her injuries.

I hope it helps.

06-01-2012, 08:12 PM
Yes, that is helpful. Whoever comes finds the door is open and she becomes aware someone is there when they are in the room where she is, talking about her dog. (Dog is obedience trained if that matters and I'm not sure yet if it will.)

06-02-2012, 12:05 AM
Can I ask if there is something else wrong with her? The scenario you described doesn't warrant emergency treatment. The cuts and dehydration wouldn't be enough for a normal young, healthy person to collapse. But as Jim said do what you need to do for the plot.

06-03-2012, 07:49 AM
I'm still figuring it out because I needed to change a few things. There was something I missed that I need to work in. So yes, there is more but still working on it. Thanks though. :)