How to Talk to An Emergency Disp...

April: National 911 Education Month

Are you educated on what to do in an emergency? Do you know who to call and what to say? If you don’t, then not to worry because HealthCARE Express has all the answers you need to prevent yourself from standing at the phone booth asking yourself, “What’s the number for 9-1-1?”.

When Should You Call 911 vs Going to HealthCARE Express Urgent Care?

911 is the nationwide phone number for emergency services to immediately connect with you and figure out what kind of help you need. Before that, people would have to dial the typical 10-digit phone number… What a hassle. Did you know that it is illegal to call 911 and give false emergency reports or disasters? I guess that means no prank calling the police, kids. You should only call 911 if:

  • There is a serious medical problem like if someone is experiencing chest pain, a seizure, bleeding, etc.
  • There is any type of fire, whether it be a car, a building, or even a person
  • There is a life-threatening situation like a physical fight, a person threatening with weapons, etc.
  • There is a crime in progress

There are many reasons you should go to an urgent care near you other than for flu shots & vaccines. You should go to urgent care OKC or urgent care Edmond if you have any of the following medical issues:

  • A cold or flu
  • An ear infection
  • Asthma related issues
  • High or low blood pressure
  • Life-altering headaches
  • Fractures, sprains, or dislocations
  • Animal bites
  • Head/brain injury
  • Lacerations
  • A sports injury

Dos and Don’ts When Calling 9-1-1

When calling 911, you will most likely be in a frantic, or anxious state of mind. It is important to remember to try and stay calm and speak clearly so that the call-takers can help you to the best of their ability. 


  • Don’t dial 911 for non-emergencies
  • If you accidentally call 911, then stay on the line until someone answers and explain that it was an accident, otherwise they will call you back to make sure there isn’t an emergency, and it would be wasting their time
  • Don’t dial 911 to “test” if your phone works right
  • Don’t let your children play with your phone because they might activate the automatic 911 call 
  • Don’t call 911 to ask for directions, to contact a police officer, fire fighter, or Sheriff’s deputy
  • Don’t call 911 to ask for the non-emergency phone number. You can look in a phone book or dial 411 which is the directory assistance number


  • Answer all questions to the best of your abilities. Your answers should be brief but also helpful
  • When the call-taker answers the phone, briefly describe your situation, and then stay on the line
  • Be patient with them
  • Be prepared to give location details
  • Be prepared to describe the people involved with the emergency
  • Be prepared to describe any vehicles 
  • Listen carefully to the call-takers instructions
  • Stay on the line with them until they tell you it is ok to hang up
  • Educate your children about when they should call 911

Tips from 911 Call-Takers and Dispatchers 

All 911 call takers and dispatchers are highly trained professionals who will make sure you get the help you need. When you call 911, the call takers will first ask you if you need “police”, “fire”, or “ambulance”. They understand that if you are calling 911, that you are most likely in a stressful and overwhelming situation, but the more you know about your situation, the easier it will be for you to get the proper help you need. Here are tips from 911 dispatchers to assist you on talking with them.

Top Tips from 911 Call takers:

  • Learn your compass directions (north, east, south, west)
  • If you are lost outdoors, call search and rescue immediately
  • Avoid accidental 911 calls by ensuring that your phone is locked and stored carefully
  • Stay calm
  • Wait for the call-takers to ask you the questions, don’t ask them questions
  • Keep your eyes open
  • Take deep breaths

Visit HealthCARE Express For All Your Non-Emergency Needs

At all our urgent care locations it is our goal to make you feel like you’re at a second home rather than at a hospital. We have onsite labs, doctors, nurses, and other trained professionals. We offer a modern and customer-oriented healthcare system where we guarantee that you will be taken care of properly. To learn more about 911 education awareness month, about our 17 different locations, or to chat with a healthcare professional, visit our website to find the closest location to you or give us a call.